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KZN floods led to 30,000 job losses or interruptions, says Zikalala

Flooding at Toyota's Prospecton plant in April 2022. File photo.
Flooding at Toyota's Prospecton plant in April 2022. File photo.
Image: Supplied

About 30,000 employees across the manufacturing industry are out of work because of  the KwaZulu-Natal floods last month that killed 448 people. 

This is according to premier Sihle Zikalala. 

“This means that employees could be without pay for about three months,” said Zikalala. “If you say jobs we mean that they are people who have not been able to go back to work as their companies have not yet reopened,” he added. 

Zikalala was briefing the media on the latest developments as the province continues with mop-up operations. 

One of the hardest hit manufacturing plants was car manufacturer Toyota. 

Zikalala said the damage to the Toyota plant in Isipingo, south of Durban, had resulted in operations halting.

He said given the severity of the damage at the Toyota plant, they were encouraged by the commitment of the global motoring giant and other business to rebuild. 

He said among government recovery priorities would be working with the private sector.

“Its going to be a long road to full recovery,” said Zikalala,

He said the provincial  government had opened a dedicated donations account, which had amassed more than R125,000 by May 15.

An amount of R100,000 would be channelled to the health department, while the balance would go towards rebuilding.  

“The bulk of donor funding has been sent directly to non-governmental organisations and can be accounted for by them,”  he said.

The SA Human Rights Commission, together with the UN co-ordinating office in SA would be working with NGOs to ensure that citizens would receive a report on the donations earmarked for flood victims. 

He said there had been a flurry of announcements made by corporates who offered their support in the wake of the floods.

“All of us we would need to account and be transparent about what we did and how the money earmarked for flood victims was being spent.  Who was helped and what intervention [was made].” said Zikalala.

He expressed gratitude at the support offered to the province by individuals,  the police, the military, disaster teams,  private business, NGOs, traditional leaders and faith-based organisations.  He said municipal employees continued to assist.

Zikalala said the rebuilding efforts would not be a government task alone but a collective response led by all sectors.

“This is a time to pull together and address the challenges in the interests of those affected by the floods. Now is not the time for political grandstanding and divisiveness. We will weather the storm by not taking advantage of vulnerable people,” he said.

TimesLIVE


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