New EC government urged to declare state of disaster to assist flood victims

Issued by Andrew Whitfield – DA Eastern Cape Provincial Leader
03 Jun 2024 in Press Statements

The first priority of the new Eastern Cape Provincial Government must be to declare a state of disaster following the extensive flooding that devastated the province over the past weekend.

At least seven people have died, and thousands of people have been displaced due to extensive flooding across the province. The floods have also caused extensive damage to critical infrastructure, such as roads, electricity and water, leaving thousands more stranded without basic services.

I have contacted Premier Oscar Mabuyane and will send him formal correspondence in due course to request that the new provincial government declare a state of disaster as its first order of business.

While the true extent of the damage is yet to be calculated, footage being shared across social media would indicate that the costs to repair damaged infrastructure could run into the billions.

Both provincial metros have been especially hard hit, with roads washed away, private and commercial properties flooded, and critical infrastructure such as water, electricity and sewage systems affected.

The Democratic Alliance would like to commend all first responders for their dedicated work in evacuating people in high-risk areas to community halls, closing roads, and assisting with other critical interventions during this time.

We are calling on all local governments to ensure a coordinated approach to dealing with the floods, providing assistance to those worst affected, and ensuring regular, effective communication on vital information such as road closures, timeframes for restoring electrical supply, and the like.

We also call on the various government departments to ensure that, even while we are currently transitioning to new political leadership, they fulfil their respective mandates to assist our people in their hour of need.

I commend our DA councillors, who have been active on the ground in their respective communities, assisting where they can.

It is vital that we all work together to mitigate the immediate impacts of these floods and take urgent action now to ensure that funding can be secured to repair the extensive damage that the flooding has caused.