DURBAN – KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka urged residents to exercise caution in areas prone to weather-related disasters.
He made the appeal last week when he launched the district’s summer season disaster awareness campaign at the Morningside Sports Ground in Ixopo.
Hlomuka’s warning came when the South African Weather Service issued a warning on Saturday.
For the northeastern parts of the KZN, heavy thunderstorms were predicted from this afternoon (Saturday) to the evening.
The storms could cause local damage to infrastructure, settlements and vehicles, and damage livestock.
Last week, Hlomuka, who officially opened the Multi-Million-Rand Fire and Rescue Center in Harry Gwala District, said the district is vulnerable to disasters such as wildfires that run out of control, thunderstorms with lightning, hail and heavy rains that lead to floods.
The MEC indicated that its department will continue to invest millions of rand in improving communities’ ability to provide specialized centers and equipment to respond to disasters.
“If we build community capacity to respond to disasters, we will also make our areas attractive to investors and improve community security,” said Hlomuka.
Harry Gwala District Mayor Zamo Nxumalo said the opening of the state-of-the-art fire station was an important milestone in efforts to keep the district’s residents safe.
âIn the event of an incident, we know that help will arrive very quickly. At the beginning of the summer season we are ready to face disasters, âadded Nxumalo.
Victims of the recent disasters, mostly in the Ofafa area, received aid in the form of food and other household items.
Babongile Mthembu’s son Nhlanzeko, 9, died last month when he was struck by lightning. She thanked the government for the support.
In addition to shopping, a lightning rod was installed near her home. She added that having a fire station nearby would be of great help to the community.