Heavy rain destroys homes

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

More than 800 people have been left homeless in Utrecht and surrounding areas after torrential rain destroyed their homes at the weekend.

Three people were taken to Newcastle Hospital and were reported to be in serious conditions after being injured by house walls falling on them.

The worst hit KwaZulu-Natal areas were Utrecht-Mxhakeni, Valbank, Berou and Nkululekweni.

In Mxhakeni alone, more than 300 houses were destroyed, leaving hundreds of residents homeless. Roads were flooded, electric poles knocked down and trees uprooted.

A resident, Nkosana Dlamini, said he had just watched the Soweto soccer derby when "moments later walls started cracking and people started fleeing as their houses collapsed".

Mabhutana Khoza, Utrecht's mayor, expressed his shock and concern over the devastation.

"People have nothing, absolutely nothing left," he said.

He said the local municipality and other organisations would immediately supply stranded people with tents and food.