KZN floods: Govt ought to predict such disaster – EFF

Fighters say although natural disasters cannot be control, the extent of the devastation caused can be managed

EFF statement on the devasting floods in KZN

12 April 2022

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) mourns the lives and livelihoods lost and destroyed by the dreadful floods in Kwa-Zulu Natal. This comes after the concerning and heart breaking reports of children being swept away by floods, the elderly struggling to exist flooded homes, and our people struggling to travel due to the heavy rains.

It has now become a yearly reality, that as South Africa enters the winter period, the people of Kwa-Zulu Natal are subjected to a tragic but predictable natural disaster in the form of floods. As things stand, around 20-people are recorded dead, and countless are still missing as road accidents increase and people are swept away to their death.

While natural disasters cannot be controlled, the extent of the devastation they wreck on lives and livelihoods can be managed. It is one of the basic mandates of government to monitor weather services and the possible impact such can have on people. It is an undeniable fact that those in government ought to predict such disasters, as is the case in most capable societies, and then implement adequate evacuation measures in time.

Moreover, by this time, military personnel ought to have been deployed to assist the communities relocate to safety, as the South African Weather Services forecasted heavy rains . At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country witnessed the misuse of military personnel by the current government, and now as people drown to their deaths, there is no deployment of this unit of South Africa's security personnel to practically save lives. Kwa-Zulu Natal is now in the thick of a natural disaster whilst the military personnel remain in the barracks.

Communities must begin to appreciate local government service delivery failures that among other services, include failure to roll-out infrastructure such as drainage systems that will avoid flooding. This disaster is directly linked to poor governance, lack of disaster management, and infrastructure development.

The EFF calls on government to provide immediate intervention and relief to all communities affected, which is accompanied by financial relief for the livelihoods lost as the extent of devastation could have been avoided. It could have been avoided if the country had a government that is responsive rather than boldly reactionary.

The EFF further calls for the army to be deployed alongside all emergency personnel services to mitigate against the loss of life.

Lastly, the EFF sends its deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones as the result of persistent failures of an indifferent, incompetent and short-sighted government.

Issued by Sinawo Thambo, National Spokesperson, EFF, 12 April 2022