/ 16 October 2017

Call to investigate early storm warning systems for KZN

Cars and homes were washed away but far more damaging to the shacks are the city’s bulldozers.
Cars and homes were washed away but far more damaging to the shacks are the city’s bulldozers.

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has called on government to investigate if more could have been done to prevent the deaths in the devastating storm that hit the province last week.

“An urgent and thorough investigation is required and the DA will insist that the MEC and her senior officials be thoroughly interrogated. In particular, it must be established whether more could have been done before the storm reached landfall, ultimately preventing loss of life,” DA MPL Hlanganani Gumbi said on Monday.

Gumbi said that he had written to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube and her department, requesting a report on the province’s current disaster management early warning systems.

“Many residents were caught largely unaware of the impending danger. It is critical that steps are taken to ensure that what happened never happens again, when the people of Durban were placed at risk as a result of government’s failure to appropriately warn them.”

Gumbi went on to welcome the provincial cabinet’s decision to declare a provincial disaster following the storm.

“The move will allow the province to access additional funding from national government in order to assist the many people affected by the extreme weather conditions.”

Last week, a massive storm hit the province, claiming eight lives. On Friday, Premier Willies Mchunu said that the death toll was expected to rise, with many missing people still not accounted for, including an infant.

Large-scale damage was caused to several public hospitals in the eThekwini Metro, including Addington, Prince Mshiyeni and King Edward. — News 24