The department said in Mandeni, an intense rainstorm lasting about 15 minutes damaged homes and infrastructure.
“Our response teams have confirmed the tragic loss of a seven-year-old boy, who drowned and was subsequently recovered by the search and rescue team. Additionally, numerous houses and road infrastructure sustained damage. Our disaster assessment teams are on-site working to establish the full extent of destruction and assess the number of affected people,” said the department.
Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi called for a comprehensive assessment of the damage and urged families to promptly report missing loved ones after the rains.
“It is indeed regrettable that we begin the year on a sombre note, having lost another life due to inclement weather. We call for co-operation between the government and our communities to remain vigilant during such disruptive weather events. We also urge community leaders, including Izinduna and councillors, to assist us to disseminate information about the risks posed by these heavy rains to our communities. We must adhere to safety warnings to minimise the impact of these rainstorms,” she said.
Sithole-Moloi said disaster response teams had initiated relief efforts for affected families.
“We will continue to assess and co-ordinate with relevant departments to provide assistance to those in need during this challenging period,” she said.
More rain was expected on New Year’s Day. Disaster response teams remain on high alert.