South Africa News

Premier Mtsweni-Tsipane: Heavy rains leave R400 million bill in Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane on Monday said that the damage caused by heavy rains in the province was estimated at R425 million so far.

This follows her visit to Kanyamazane in the Mbombela district, which has been deemed the most affected area in Mpumalanga.

Other affected areas include the Thaba Chweu, Bushbuckridge and Mkhondo municipalities.

Mtsweni-Tsipane said that the heavy rains had damaged road infrastructure and collapsed bridges.

In addition to the damaged infrastructure, hundreds of people had been evacuated to safer areas after their houses were destroyed.

The premier said there were plans underway to assist those that were affected by the floods and heavy rains.

“The damage we have quantified thus far amounts to about R425 million and we haven’t completed the assessment. What this means is that we will work around the estimates that are there to start as a matter of emergency.”

Mtsweni-Tsipane said the Mpumalanga government could not afford to wait for the national government but would start with their disaster response by repairing and reconstructing the damaged houses.

Mtsweni-Tsipane also urged affected communities to seek shelter until the water levels dropped.

“We urge the community not to push forward when it rains heavily. They must try to get to the nearest shelter and wait there until the water levels drops.

“We have already lost 8 people who were wiped off by the water and 4 missing to date,” said Mtsweni-Tsipane.

Eight people have died and five others are missing after torrential rains continued to wreak havoc in parts of the province.

A search operation for the missing people was underway, said provincial department of cooperative governance spokesperson George Mthethwa.

One of the missing people includes a 13-year-old boy, who was riding a horse before he disappeared in Donkerhoek.

“It is possible that the boy might have drowned. The horse was found just yesterday, the search operation by police divers continues. The eight deceased have been handed over to families for burials,” said Mthethwa.

-The Citizen

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