ANC members help to mop up after storm

Mhlaba Memela

ANC supporters, wearing the party's T-shirts, answered a call from their leaders to help with mop-up operations and the rebuilding of houses that were destroyed by a freak storm in Molweni outside Hillcrest in Durban.

Nine people, including two children, died in the "twister" on Friday.

Social development MEC Meshack Radebe, eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba and speaker James Nxumalo also took part in the clean-up yesterday.

Ntombizikhona Mthembu, 67, said: "I'm lucky that they have started to rebuild my home. People are still shocked after the storm. We were given tents but we hardly slept all night."

Mthembu's two-year-old grandchild, Siya, is in hospital after he was injured in the storm.

"Its very sad that lives were lost," she said.

ANC eThekwini regional deputy chairman Stanley Xulu said they were glad their members responded positively to the call for help.

"The response is amazing," he said. "As a party we are keeping our promise to build a caring society."

Mlaba lashed out at media analysts for saying that the government had built dangerous houses.

"The storm was very strong and many houses, even in Hillcrest, were destroyed," Mlaba said. "It's not true that only low-cost houses were destroyed because of cheap labour and cheap materials."

Radebe said a number of people had donated items and cash to ease the plight of the victims.

"It means a lot to the people."

The Fidelity Services Company donated R45000 towards the mop-up operation and the Pakistan Association gave food and clothes.

The provincial government has also set up the Ubuntu Community Trust account to accept donations. The FNB account number is 620- 0069-1891 and the branch is Durban, number 221-426.

Radebe said the ANC would ensure that the victims can reoccupy their houses by no later than December 15.

"Home Affairs and the SA Security Agency will be on site for the whole week to help those who lost their IDs," he said.