Baby dies in KZN storms

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The death toll from the weekend storms that devasted Mondlo, Utrecht and Vryheid in northern KwaZulu- Natal has risen to three.

The latest victim, a three-month-old baby girl, died in hospital on Monday night.

Two people drowned after the Bhanya River burst its banks at Bhekuzulu township on Saturday.

Yesterday the Kwazulu-Natal government formed a team to consider declaring the area a disaster zone.

The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for local government, Mike Mabuyakhulu, and other MECs visited the storm-ravaged areas this week.

Mabuyakhuklu's spokesman said he would monitor the situation and provide humanitarian aid to the affected people.

"The first line of assistance includes the issuing of tents, blankets and medical supplies.

"Vouchers for building materials will also be provided to those who qualify.

"We are combining forces with the Department of Social Welfare, which has provided food parcels," said Mabuyakhulu.

Future help might include the rebuilding of some of the homes destroyed by the rains by the government, he said.

According to the South African Weather Service, it was the sixth consecutive weekend that the province had been drenched by heavy downpours.

The weather service said the trend was likely to continue for few more weeks in KwaZulu-Natal.