The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) called on residents to be vigilant and “exercise great caution” after warning about possible risk of veld fires was issued by the South African Meteorological Service (SAWS).
Weather alerts and warnings for KwaZulu-Natal
Veld fire alarm in KwaZulu-Natal
COGTA’s MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, confirmed that disaster management teams are on alert “in the likelihood of incidents occurring”. Hlomuka called for caution and added:
“We call on our communities to exercise great caution, as veld fires pose a serious risk to human life. This weekend, our teams responded to an incident in Nkandla where 20 houses were destroyed by uncontrollable fires ”.
Residents are urged to take the necessary precautions “including not to make fires in open areas”. The minister also called on smokers “to dispose of cigarette stumps in an appropriate manner”.
Blaze disaster of August 16
This follows the deployment of disaster management teams in the local municipality of uMngeni at 2:00 am on August 16, 2020 “where no less than 300 cabins in district 3 could have been destroyed by fire”.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control and noted one death. Minister Hlomuka expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased and said that interim relief would be provided to the victims of the fire.
“Although the details are still unclear, it is believed that a fire started at 2 am in the informal settlement of Mthulweni and quickly spread to engulf many shacks.”
Gale force damage
In addition to the above, the statement also drew attention to homes near Greytown that were damaged on Monday, August 18, 2020. Disaster management teams responded to the incidents.
“Disaster management teams from the local municipality of uMvoti responded last night to an incident where 108 houses were damaged by high winds in the areas of Mbilwana, Zihlokweni, Manyonyo and Dormrey in wards 1, 2 and 3 “.
According to the statement, one person was injured and has since received necessary medical treatment. More than 350 people have been affected and disaster management teams “continue to provide support”.
Cold weather conditions
Finally, MEC Hlomuka “also noted the cold weather conditions in large parts of the province” and urged residents to “remain vigilant in their efforts to warm up”.
“We call on residents who use generators and braziers to use them safely and without risk to human life.”