Government has relocated all families that were displaced by the KwaZulu-Natal floods to new and more acceptable accommodation.
More than 8 000 families were affected by the floods earlier this year, with Ugu, King Cetshwayo, UMgungundlovu, KwaDukuza, Msunduzi, Ilembe and the e-Thekweni municipalities being worst hit.
Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said the 135 mass care centres, which housed people who were affected by the floods in various districts, were closed by this past Saturday.
In the intermediate phase of the relocation project, people were provided with alternative accommodation and some basic needs in different areas such as community halls and churches across affected districts.
“In ensuring that the stabilisation phase became possible, the National Department of Human Settlement availed R325 764 000 from the Provincial Emergency Housing Grant for the provision of Emergency Housing solutions.
“From this grant, 1 731 temporary residential units were built and handed over to beneficiaries; 10 transitional emergency accommodation sites have been provided; a total of 493 families received building material supply, and the process of building permanent housing is still continuing.
“There were 135 mass care centres in affected districts and by Saturday, 24 December 2022, all of them were closed and families relocated to temporary units and transitional emergency accommodation,” the Minister said.
For the rehabilitation phase (long-term infrastructure projects), government is building permanent housing structures for displaced families and counselling is also being provided to all families.
Bridges and corroded roads, much of which have been restored, will be fixed over time and as budgets allow.
Government will also ensure that people residing in flood prone areas are relocated.
“On the 23rd and 24th of December 2022, under the leadership of Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube and eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, a Christmas party was hosted for families who were relocated to Crystal Valley, Astra Building and Pinetown Student Accommodation,” Gungubele said.
These buildings are also part of the families’ accommodation facilities and supported by the MEC for Social Development, Nonhlanhla Khoza.
On 27 December 2022, a Christmas party was hosted at the Msunduzi Local Municipality for the families, who were accommodated at Truro Community Hall in Pietermaritzburg, with the support of the District Mayor, Mzi Zuma.
“As we draw to the end of 2022, this milestone of successfully closing mass care centres and bringing some cheer to those in distress, makes me believe that as a nation we can overcome some of the other ills our society faces and which we have seen over this holiday season – racism; intolerance and impatience on roads when driving; inadequate care and protection of vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly; excessive abuse of alcohol and the scourge of GBVF.
“Our nation can triumph over these ills if we harness the values of social solidarity, nationhood and love for our fellow being,” Gungubele said.