South Africa’s national weather service Monday evening said heavy rains ravaged large parts of the country and that they expect the weather pattern to continue.
In response to the heavy rains, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration declared a national state disaster which would enable a coordinated response to address the impact of the floods.
“Government has, in terms of the Disaster Management Act of 2002, declared a national state disaster to enable an intensive, coordinated response to the impact of floods that are affecting Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, the Northern Cape and North West provinces,” read a statement released by the office of the Presidency.
“The National Disaster Management Center has received reports ranging from flooded homes, vehicles swept away by floodwaters and overflowing dams and sewerage facilities, to the loss of basic infrastructure and damage to roads, bridges and a Limpopo hospital,” added the statement.
Nonala Ndlovu, the spokesperson for the provincial disaster management department COGTA said they have recorded five deaths in KwaZulu-Natal province.
“A newborn is among those who died,” read a statement released by COGTA.
South Africa’s opposition Economic for Freedom Fighters (EFF) said they were deeply concerned by the devastation caused by the rains.
“The rain has left millions of people in the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and other provinces cut off from basic services, and without reliable forms of transportation, particularly in the most rural areas in these provinces,” read a statement released by the EFF.
The EFF also called on government to adequately respond to the needs of those who have been impacted by the rains.
“The government has been unable to respond swiftly to assist affected communities, leaving children, the elderly and the disabled to fend for themselves,” said the EFF.
“Already four poor kids from disadvantaged communities in the Nkomazi area of Ehlanzeni Region in Mpumalanga have already lost their innocent lives,” added the opposition party.
Some information in the report came from statements released by the South African government, the South African Weather Service, the Economic Freedom Fighters and Agence France-Presse.