Help from the municipality

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AFTERMATH: To expedite the delivery of aid to the King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality, Cogta Minister Des van Rooyen seeks to have it declared a disaster area. Picture: ROBERT TLAPU

The tornado-ravaged King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality (KSD) could soon be declared a disaster area.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen has called on the municipality to furnish the national government with all the required documents that will help facilitate the process.

Van Rooyen visited the area this week to see the extent of the damage caused by the tornado which has displaced hundreds of people in the area.

His visit comes at a time when the residents are accusing the municipality of dragging its feet in providing assistance to them to rebuild their homes.

“Our response to this emergency, should be prompt, well coordinated and geared to restoring the dignity of those affected by the storms.

“The sheer impact of this on the lives of the people and the sheer extent of the devastation, requires all stakeholders to join hands in response to this challenging situation,” Van Rooyen said.

He said declaring the area a disaster zone would ensure that resources were allocated to it.

Residents severely affected by the storm are picking up the pieces after it damaged their homes, schools and churches on January 2.

Last week, the affected residents took to the streets, blockading roads and burning tyres, complaining about not receiving adequate aid from the government following the disaster two weeks ago.

The preliminary report has revealed that 1993 households in 77 villages have been affected by the storm. At least 300 households have been displaced.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Legadima Leso yesterday said that the storm had left more than 2000 families without electricity.

Leso said that the minister would hold talks with social and education departments to ensure they too stepped in to offer assistance.

“The aim of these engagements will be to mobilise more support for the affected communities.

“Through the National Disaster Management Centre, the minister committed his continued support to the affected municipalities and finding possible resources that would help to return the lives of individual, families and the entire communities back to normality,” Leso said.

The KSD municipality at the OR Tambo district municipality was not the only area affected by the storm. Homes in NU6, NU7 and NU 9 in Mdantsane were also damaged.

“We are not folding our arms. We are working very hard to address the situation. We have sent a team of people to talk to the affected communities,” Leso said.

Mampoza said that the disaster management team led by mayor Dumani Zozo has been deployed in all affected areas.

Some of the displaced residents have been offered accommodation by their relatives and neighbours, while the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been helping affected communities with the provision of food parcels and blankets.

Van Rooyen has commended community members for providing help to the affected areas.

ZODIDI MHLANA

zodidim@thenewage.co.za

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