The premier of Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), Willies Mchunu, has declared Thursday, 2 May, a provincial day of mourning for those that died as a result of the recent KZN floods.
As reported by SABC News, Mchunu confirmed that the official death toll has not changed from its previous total of 70.
He also revealed that the infrastructural damage in the affected areas of the province will cost the government an estimated R1.1-billion.
KZN floods: Mchunu declares day of mourning
While it will take time for the restoration of eThekwini to take shape, Mchunu noted how important it is for the country to stand alongside the province as they remember those who have lost their lives due to the floods.
“We invite all citizens, interfaith formations and all sectors of society to participate in this day of prayer and mourning,” Mchunu stated.
With more than 1 400 people displaced due to the damage of at least 400 homes, relief efforts from the government and non-profit organisations like Gift of the Givers have been very helpful.
Premier critical of water and sanitation protesters
The premier was very critical of the eThekwini department of water and sanitation for choosing to protest at such an inopportune time.
This has affected water supply in the region and according to the premier, not only is this immoral but it is also counterproductive.
“Water is an essential service that cannot be used as a bargaining chip against the people. It is the view of the provincial government that this stride when our province is in such a disaster situation can be described in no other terms than that this is totally immoral,” he said.
Where will the mourning take place?
Human Settlements MEC, Ravi Pillay has been appointed as the head of a task team whose mandate is to enter into negotiations with the protesters.
Alas, the prayer session, according to Mchunu, will commence at the Curries Foundation Sports Field in Greyville, Durban, from 9:00.
The premier confirmed that more information related to the event will be relayed closer to the day.