South Africa

Ramaphosa promises temporary housing within 30 days to Eastern Cape flood victims

The cost of the damage by the floods has been estimated to R6 billion.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged assistance to flood victims in the Eastern Cape, assuring them that the government will intervene following the storms that have affected the province.

On Friday, Ramaphosa, accompanied by national and local government officials, visited the disaster-affected Eastern Cape.

Heavy rainfall in the province has hit areas in the Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City municipalities, reportedly leaving at least 10 people dead.

The floods, which has destroyed homes and schools, have been declared as national disaster as mop-up operations continue.

Eastern Cape flood damages

Addressing displaced residents in Kariega, Ramaphosa noted that the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) – and the Western Cape to some extent – were provinces frequently plagued by floods.

The president said he was informed that the damage caused by the floods in Eastern Cape was “quite extensive” and is currently estimated to R6 billion.

“Bridges have fallen, roads have been cut in-between so this rain caused quiet a lot of damage,” Ramaphosa said on Friday.

ALSO READ: Nelson Mandela Bay needs more than R1bn to fix flood damage

He attributed the sever weather to climate change.

“It is an act from God; it is climate change because we should not be having 230 millimetres of rain in two hours where everything was washed away,” the president remarked.

Ramaphosa promised to provide temporary housing for the flood victims.

“Within 30 days, we will have provided temporary housing for those who have lost their houses within a period of 30 days. In the meantime, we will have accommodation for those who have been displaced.”

Watch Ramaphosa visits Eastern Cape:

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality indicated on Thursday that the damages include swept-away water pipelines, flooded wastewater treatment facilities, damaged boundary walls, and harm to water, mechanical, and electrical equipment.

Additionally, several electrical substations and transformers were blown out, while sports facilities also suffered damage due to the heavy rains.

Land identified for housing

Meanwhile, Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said there were plans to relocate residents within the next two days.

Kubayi stated that land has been identified and handed over to the Department of Human Settlements by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

She revealed that government was already experiencing some challenges.

READ MORE: Insurance claims mount as floods devastate Eastern Cape

“We have difficulties of land invasion. One of the issues is that we are already getting emergency court orders today so that no one invades land.

“I’m saying this upfront because we are going to evict if you don’t go to the land we have identified.

“We are going to build temporary housing for communities, and this will be from now until the end of the month,” the minister said.

Kubayi added that priority for relocation would be given to families with minor children.

Watch Kubayi address residents below: