Public Protector visits KwaZulu-Natal communities recovering from deadly floods
Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane will early in the coming week assemble a team of investigators to monitor and follow up on all public service delivery and humanitarian aid undertakings various organs of state have made following the disaster that befell KwaZulu-Natal earlier in the week.
Responding to Premier Sihle Zikalala’s call for assistance and at the invitation of Mr Sthe Mabanga of KwaMashu Business Forum (KBF), Adv. Mkhwebane on Good Friday visited some of the affected areas to observe first-hand the devastation the forceful floods that ravaged the province caused. She visited KwaMashu, Ntuzuma, Lindela and Molweni.
In KwaMashu, she heard of several families who were in need of search and rescue services. The families believe their missing loved ones may have been buried under the rubble and and wreckage which resulted from the overflow. Many more people were in dire need of food, clothes and sanitary supplies. Some have lost important paperwork such as birth certificates and identity documents.
Others were taken-in by neighbours after their houses were washed away. MEC of Human Settlements and Public Works, Jomo Sibiya, who was at hand in Molweni, assured Adv. Mkhwebane that his department would be building temporary housing for the affected, including those who are currently accommodated in school premises.
The KBF will provide the Public Protector South Africa (PPSA) with a list of all the affected families and individuals. The PPSA investigation team will then share that information with the Departments of Social Development and Human Settlements, the South African Social Security Agency and the South African Police Service, and monitor progress to ascertain that organs of state make good on their undertakings.
Wrapping up her visit, Adv. Mkhwebane reiterated her earlier call for organs of state to be circumspect and exercise prudence as they go about lending support to the affected communities, with a view to ensuring that whatever resources that have been availed for aid are used solely for the intended purpose.
“We call for the state to urgently provide shelter, food, blankets and re-issue documents such as birth certificate to the affected. The rebuilding of public infrastructure also needs to commence as soon as conditions are conducive,” Adv. Mkhwebane said at the end of her tour of the area.