Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Pamela Tshwete, has directed a team to work with the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements to provide urgent relief to victims of the storm which destroyed scores of houses in various wards of the Mhlontlo and King Sabata Local Municipalities at the weekend.
Tshwete called up all citizens and the country’s business community to reach out and assist the devastated communities by helping the government to provide immediate relief of temporary shelter, clothing and food for storm victims.
Six people were killed during the storm when their houses collapsed on them and hundreds were left homeless. Additionally, no less than 19 people have been transferred to the hospital for treatment of various injuries.
“We send our condolences to the families of the deceased, and losing a family member or loved ones always leave a lifetime mark and a wound that takes time to heal. We are a government that cares and will do everything in power to reach those families that need us the most at this time,” Tshwete said.
The assessment of the disaster has so far revealed that the affected families need immediate assistance with temporary shelter, food, clothes and blankets.
Tshwete called on all South Africans and the wider business community to extend a helping hand and partner with the government in its efforts to provide relief to all of households that were several impacted by the destructive storm.
Tshwete, together with the Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, and Human Settlements MEC, Nonceba Kontsiwe visited the Xhongorha and Sigubudwini villages to assess the extent of the damage on Monday.
In her interaction with the local communities impacted by the storm Tshwete said:
“We are deploying national and provincial teams to urgently assess the damage so that necessary programmes in response to this disaster can take place. We want to bring normality to the lives of people of these areas as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, the public has been advised to follow the SA Weather Service (SAWS) media platforms for the latest warnings and weather developments in the region. More severe and destructive thunderstorms are expected lash the province between noon and midnight on Monday.