• The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) is still in the process of coordinating the information that is coming from the affected provinces and municipalities, so it will not be possible to give accurate verified figures in relation to lives that have been lost or the full extent of the infrastructure damage at this stage.
• Reports received so far from Gauteng, KZN, Northern Cape and the Limpopo Provinces are still preliminary, so an accurate determination of the exact figures of lives lost, the number of houses and infrastructure damaged, will only be determined after a full assessment and verification. This is not yet finalized.
• All the affected provinces and municipalities have informed us they are still in the process of assessing the full extent of the damage which will include the final determination of the number of lives lost as well as houses and infrastructure damage.
• The NDMC will verify the initial assessments and in the end submit reports to National Treasury for assistance. It is not possible at this point to determine an accurate and final figure of the damage done to infrastructure and houses.
• However, initial preliminary data which is yet to be verified indicates that in Gauteng about 400 - 500 houses (formal and informal) have been damaged, with the worst affected areas being the metropolitan areas of Johannesburg and Tshwane (Pretoria), where an estimated 12 people have lost their lives so far.
• In KZN an estimated 200 households have been affected by the heavy storms and incessant rains, which have covered a widespread area including UMgungundlovu, UMzinyathi, Ugu, eThekwini Metro, Sisonke, UMkhanyakude and UThungulu.
• Again, initial preliminary data which is yet to be verified indicates that about 20 people have lost their lives, and 9 people have been seriously injured. Preliminary reports further indicate that a total of 515 people have been affected by the incidents in KZN.
• Most of the operational issues such as assessing the immediate damage to houses, seeing to the needs of the affected people and rendering the necessary assistance like alternative accommodation, blankets and food parcels are being attended to by the local disaster management structures with oversight and assistance from the provincial counterparts.
• People are encouraged to listen to the local media continuously for updated emergency information. Floods and flash floods can happen quickly without warning so people staying in flood-prone areas must be prepared to act immediately.
• The NDMC, in liaison with the South African Weather Service, is monitoring the situation, and disaster management structures in provinces that may be affected by possible further floods, have been warned of the possibility of further heavy rains.
• All disaster management structures in the country have been put on high alert and are working in conjunction with the SANDF, the SAPS, other government departments and civil society structures to deal with the devastation of the floods.
• Disaster management centres in provinces have been asked to take steps to augment their capacity by bringing other sectoral disaster management stakeholders, e.g. the SAPS, SANDF, Departments of Water Affairs, Social Development, Agriculture, etc. on board, in anticipation of further flooding, so they may be enabled to render the necessary assistance.
• At the national level, the NDMC is also working in close liaison with the SANDF and SAPS to give further assistance should it become necessary. However, in most areas around the country the disaster management structures have indicated that they have matters under control, but will indicate if extra help from national government is required to assist them.
• People staying at flood-prone areas must be ready to evacuate at a moment of notice even though sometimes they may have to leave with little or no notice
• The National Disaster Management Centers also advises people to follow instructions and advice from their local authorities as they are best informed about areas that are likely to be affected.
• In case of an evacuation, people must leave affected areas early enough to avoid being marooned by flooded roads, delaying may allow all escaping routes to be blocked.
• The worst affected areas in Gauteng have been the metropolitan areas of Johannesburg and Tshwane (Pretoria)
• In KZN, the following areas have been affected by incessant rains:
o UMzinyathi, Ugu,
o eThekwini Metro,
o Sisonke District
o UMkhanyakude District
o and UThungulu
• In the Northern Cape, mainly due to the overflow and opening of sluices of the Vaal dam and the Bloemhof dam, the following areas have been affected:
o Siyancuma Municipality
o Siyanda District Municipality
o Kai Gariep municipal area
o Sol Plaatjie District, Frances Baard Municipality
o Dikgatlong Local Municipality and
o Magareng Local Municipality).
• In Limpopo Province only sporadic incidents of flooding have been reported. Heavy rain along the N’wabitsi River resulted in flooding and caused damage to N’wabitsi Lodge and Mabatlane area.
Issued on behalf of the Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Tradition Affairs.