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President Cyril Ramaphosa Visits Gqeberha to Assess Flood Damage and Response

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President Cyril Ramaphosa Visits Gqeberha to Assess Flood Damage and Response

GQEBERHA, Eastern Cape – President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to visit Gqeberha today, Friday, 07 June 2024, to evaluate the response efforts by government departments, entities, and civil society groups following the devastating floods which have led to significant loss of life and extensive damage to public infrastructure and private property.

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Severe Weather Devastates Eastern Cape and Beyond

The Eastern Cape, along with KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, and Free State, has been hit hard by severe weather conditions in recent days. The tragic events have resulted in numerous fatalities, residents going missing, and widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure, exacerbating the region’s woes.

President Ramaphosa’s Schedule in Gqeberha

Venue: Lapland

  • 11h30: Media to gather at Lapland’s designated relocation site for residents at risk of a potential dam burst.
  • 12h00: President Ramaphosa and his entourage will arrive for a guided tour of the area.

Venue: Xaba

  • 12h25: Media to move to the first flood-affected site in Kariega, West Hill.
  • 12h35: Presidential visit and interaction with affected community members.

Venue: Lower Central, next to Jubilee Hotel

  • 12h45: Media to advance to the second flood-affected site.
  • 12h50: President and entourage arrival for another guided tour and community interaction.

Venue: Taylor Street, Lower Central

  • 13h00: Media to advance to the third flood-affected site.
  • 13h05: Continuing the tour and community engagement.

Venue: Kariega Fire Station

  • 13h15: Media to proceed to the Kariega Fire Station.
  • 13h20: Arrival of the President and entourage.

Venue: Matanzima Road, collapsed bridge site

  • 13h30: Media to move to the collapsed bridge site.
  • 14h00: Guided tour of the damage at Matanzima Road.
  • 14h30: Interaction with media to conclude the tour.

Government and Civil Society Response

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has emphasized the unified effort by government to address the catastrophic impacts of the floods. Mabuyane reassured residents that resources are being mobilized to relieve those in dire need.

“Currently, government is conducting an assessment of damages and requests communities to remain united, vigilant, and monitor weather updates as further rainfall is anticipated,” Mabuyane said.

The floods earlier this week have caused considerable disruption, particularly in Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay metros. The aftermath has left more than 1000 families displaced, homes destroyed, and at least 10 lives lost.

Partnership and Relocation Initiatives

Mabuyane has called on the private sector to lend their support to government relief efforts. An oversight visit on Wednesday included a ministerial delegation representing all three spheres of government. The delegation surveyed flood-stricken areas across Gqeberha, including Qunu, Izinyoka, Nomakanjani, Bongweni informal settlements, and Kariega.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Thembi Nkadimeng, Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, and Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga, alongside Premier Mabuyane, led the charge with Deputy Ministers, MECs, and members of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro’s leadership.

Minister Kubayi highlighted the urgent need for relocating families from mass care centres to safer temporary accommodations, particularly for the vulnerable such as mothers and young children.

“We are fast-tracking the efforts to provide immediate and temporary housing solutions as a medium to long-term intervention,” she said, urging public vigilance during heavy rains and caution on roads.

Disaster Management Efforts Intensified

Nkadimeng has directed the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) to collaborate closely with the Joint District Operations Centre, the Eastern Cape government, and affected municipalities to enhance the support for those impacted by the floods.

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