The heavy rains that have caused damage to property, flooding, sinkholes and landslides in parts of KwaZulu-Natal have prompted the national department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) to declare a provincial disaster.
On Wednesday, the head of the national disaster management centre, Dr Mmaphaka Tau, gazetted the declaration.
“After having deliberations with sector departments and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provincial disaster management centre, and after assessing the magnitude and severity of the impact of the severe weather events occurring in various municipal areas of the KZN province that resulted in the loss of life and damage to property, infrastructure and the environment caused by heavy rain, flooding, strong winds, landslides, etc and after having considered the information and recommendations received from the provincial disaster management centre, hereby give notice that on April 13, in terms of section 23 (1)(b). of the Disaster Management Act 2002, I classified these occurrences as a provincial disaster,” reads the gazette.
The declaration requires organs of state to strengthen support to existing structures to implement contingency arrangements and ensure that measures are put in place to enable the province to effectively deal with the effects of the disaster.
In the gazette, Tau said emanating from the classification of this occurrence as a provincial disaster, the primary responsibility to co-ordinate and manage the disaster, in terms of existing legislation and contingency arrangements, is designated to the provincial executive.