Amid the death and destruction caused by the devastating flash floods and mudslides, President Cyril Ramaphosa, and his entourage of ministers, visited the rain ravaged areas and touched base with distressed community members as they criss-crossed through Durban on Wednesday.
Viewing first hand the aftermath of the catastrophic floods in Amanzimtoti, uMlazi, Lamontville and Chatsworth, amongst other areas, Ramaphosa offered promises of financial support and said government will step in to assist and rebuild homes and towns.
“As government at national level, I immediately contacted the treasury and said do we have money to assist our people.
“They said president, we have the money. So money will be mobilised to assist our people. These are emergency situations that we budget for.
“So resources will be mobilised in the biggest ways so that our people who are currently in need are assisted. It will take time but the South African Government, at all its levels will be there to give assistance to our people,” said Ramaphosa.
The president also had high praise for all rescuers who risked life and limb to reach out to those in need.
“We are saddened by what happened here, the loss of life is never something that pleases anyone particularly as it happens unexpectedly. But we also want to commend the rescue services both at national level, at provincial level and at local government level.
We are very pleased that our teams, our units have come to the rescue of a number of people whose lives were at stake. I want to commend our minister, our acting Premier and our mayor here for mobilising your various units, in a quite a short space of time – the fire unit, as well as the army and the police,” he said.
The president added, “We are really pleased with the way that we have galvanised a lot of support also from the community. The community has come to the aid of many of our people and we thank them for that.
There has also been outstanding rescue and lifesaving by many people who jumped into the mud, who jumped into flowing water to save their children, their loved ones, and other friends and neighbours so we commend our people for taking risky actions in the way that they did.” Ramaphosa thanked all organisations who provided relief and said, “We thank various non-government organisations – the Gift of the Givers, and other rescue organisations for coming to the aid of those who are in need. They have provided food, shelter, mattresses and beds and also toilet facilities in various community halls.”
The president offered his reassurance to citizens and said, “This is what we have to do as government and it is for that reason that I decided that I should come and have a look so that we can give some comfort to our people who are currently in devastated situations.
Our hearts go out to all those families and all our people who have been very badly affected with this.”