Hundreds of families have been left destitute and homeless following heavy storms in Pietermaritzburg during the festive season.
Heavy rain, hail storms, strong winds and other acts of nature devastated many families already teetering on the edge of poverty in KwaZulu-Natal’s capital city.
The worst of the bad weather hit the area between 22 and 30 December.
Government has already identified 115 houses that require asbestos replacement, 17 families that will need temporary residential units, 110 families that require building material and 271 families that need roof tile replacement.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works Jomo Sibiya met with leaders of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality and the Msunduzi Local Municipality “to discuss a package of intervention to assist the affected communities”.
“When we visited some of the families on 1 January, with local leadership, we committed to ensure that we move with speed to turn around the situation.
“We do acknowledge the fact that the gains we have made in our quest to ensure speed and efficiency in the delivery of human settlements is threatened by recurring storms and floods.”
Sibiya said his department’s assessment of the storm and flood damage included the “destruction of social infrastructure”, including schools, public health institutions and other government infrastructure.
He said the department had allocated more than R15.4 million to assist families in Msunduzi.
Sibiya said they were “fully aware that there are communities in various municipalities that have been affected”.