A total of 186 schools in KwaZulu-Natal were affected by the recent storms and the province is in a race against time to ensure they are operational when they reopen on January 19.
The provincial Executive Council made the decision at a special session on Thursday to apply for a disaster status in parts of the province affected by recent storms and flash floods.
Prime Minister Sihle Zikalala called a special Executive Council session A disaster management sub-committee was set up.
According to the report, the storms that have recently hit most parts of the province have damaged homes, schools, roads and other critical infrastructure .
“According to incidents reported to the provincial disaster management center during the 2021-22 holiday period in November-December 2021 and January 2022, there were about 205 incidents of high winds, lightning, building fires, heavy rains, hailstorms, building collapses, etc. 16 drowned people in KwaZulu-Natal,” said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The bad weather affected 2,068 households and 10,972 people.
At least 773 houses were destroyed and 2,095 houses were partially destroyed.
Twenty-five people were killed in lightning strikes and drowning and one person is still missing.
< p>The report estimates that it will cost R33.3 billion to repair the damage.
“KwaZulu-Natal has asked the national government to declare the province a national disaster. This will provide access to emergency funds, but also enable the province to reallocate existing budgets and grants to address urgent needs,” the statement said.
“The number of roads damaged and bridges will require improvement and re-graveling, new bridges, dams, pothole repairs and drainage improvements.
“The provincial government also received a report that 186 schools have been affected, which is the main concern as the most schools in KwaZulu-Natal will resume business next school year.
“The province is working around the clock to ensure affected schools have adequate facilities for learning and administrative purposes.”< /p>
According to the statement, the provincial government has commissioned the Independent Development Trust (IDT) to carry out urgent repairs to schools and provide mobile classrooms as temporary assistance len.
The storms have also affected the local farming sector, with flooding of pasture camps and fields and damage to infrastructure.
“This has affected beef production, pig rutting stalls and chicken coops, as well as plunge pools affected, causing a major setback to efforts to ensure food security in KwaZulu-Natal.”