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SA President visits KZN province, after more than 253 died in raging floods.


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who cut his official trip to Mozambique, has arrived in KwaZulu-Natal to lead efforts to help the people in the province recover from floods that have killed more than 253 people, left thousands more homeless and destroyed key infrastructure in and around Durban.

Ramaphosa, supported by Dr Nkosazana Zuma, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, was met by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala before going to into a meeting where he was briefed about the situation.

The South African National Defence Force was called in as emergency services, assisted by charity organisations working around the clock to rescue people swept away by the floods. The search for those missing has also continued. The South African government is expected to declare KZN a disaster area, a move that will enable the state to provide funds to assist those affected.

Social media was awash with photographs and videos that depicted the full devastation caused by the floods in Durban and its surrounding suburbs as well as Pinetown. 

In one incident in Hammarsdale, between Maritzburg and Durban, five members of a family were killed when a wall collapsed on them following heavy downpours that triggered a mudslide.

Charity organisation Gift of the Givers recovered the body of a grandmother and two grandchildren in Tongaat. 

“Responding to the #KZNFloods, we are on the scene in #Tongaat where a grandmother and her three grandchildren were swept away when a river in Flamingo Heights bursts its banks. The bodies of the grandmother and two children have been found, one child remains unaccounted for,” the organisation said on Twitter.

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In Ntuzuma, remains of loved ones were washed away when the local cemetery was flooded.

The rains in KwaZulu-Natal also flooded a dam beyond capacity, making it impossible to operate a hydroelectric generator at power utility Eskom, Chief Executive Officer Andre de Ruyter said in an online briefing.

South Africa’s biggest logistics and freight operator Transnet, which runs the Durban port, suspended operations across its terminals there as the deluge damaged a road and hindered access to the terminals, it said in a statement.

By The African Mirror