Mayor appeals for help as storm wreaks havoc

ABAQULUSI municipality in Vryheid, northern Zululand, has been hit hard by the latest storms that left hundreds of residents destitute.

Mayor George Dlamini has since made a passionate plea to businessmen to lend a helping hand to devastated residents after Sunday's heavy rains.

Dlamini said Sikhame, Buyane and KwaGxoba informal settlements were the most affected.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday while on a visit to one of the affected areas, Dlamini said many shacks have been destroyed and that many people were left homeless.

He said many residents were left with only what they were wearing after heavy rains, followed by hail and wind, started pouring just after 5pm on Sunday.

"It's very bad. People have been left with absolutely nothing - no shelter, no food, no clothes.

"It's just a mess. As I speak to you, they are just seated in an open space and it's very disturbing.

"Our disaster management team has been on the scene since Sunday, and today we are still visiting different areas to measure the extent of damage and register the number of people who were affected - the list seems endless," Dlamini said.

He said they have also written to the Zululand district municipality and the province for assistance.

"I would like to warn people to be cautious as more rains are expected," Dlamini said.