South Africa 13.1.2017 04:09 pm

Thunderstorms cause damage worth R200m at OR Tambo municipality

Thunderstorms cause damage worth R200m at OR Tambo municipality

Recent storms in the district left 859 families homeless and 2 351 households damaged.

A special council meeting of the OR Tambo Municipality sat in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on Friday after receiving a comprehensive report of the devastating storms that wreaked havoc in the area earlier this month.

The OR Tambo District was declared a local state of disaster after two people died and hundreds of residents were left homeless by the storms.

In a statement, executive mayor Nomakhosazana Meth said the municipality would continue to do all in its power to try and normalise the situation.

Friday’s report to council revealed that more than R200 million in damage was caused by the storms, with 859 families being left homeless and 2 351 households suffered varying levels of damage to their houses.

“The estimated cost for damages is R203 721 000. Fifteen schools have sustained damage to buildings, ablution facilities and administration blocks where the estimated cost of repairs is R12 000 000, excluding estimated operational costs. Two preschools have also been damaged, the estimated cost is R500 000,” said Meth.

Electricity supply by Eskom to some 60 000 customers in the area was also affected, and the cost of repair to electricity infrastructure was estimated by Eskom to be R13 million.

Affected areas included Qumbu, Mthatha, Mqanduli, Libode and the surrounding areas around Mthatha CBD.

In addition, 300 hectares of crop that were a combination of home gardens and fields were affected and 41 livestock killed in Upper Tabase, Viedgesville, Payne and Qweqwe, with the total cost of damages to agricultural facilities, and services was estimated at R1 982 100.

Meth said the municipality would continue to do all in its power to work closely with all sectors of society to ensure a coordinated and coherent approach in assisting those affected.

– African News Agency

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