Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster held a briefing on Thursday to discuss its efforts to ensure that life in the storm-ravaged KZN returns to some sense of normality.
Earlier this week it was confirmed that 17 438 households have been affected by the disaster, which affected 121 687 people with 435 people losing their lives.
Around 3000 people have applied for Social Relief of Distress (SRD) to the value of R5 million. School uniforms were also purchased for learners to the value of R370 000 so far. The government is also assisting families in arranging funerals for victims who perished in the floods.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla revealed that 64 learners have passed away in the last two weeks while an additional five learners are still missing. The minister also revealed that one educator and one food handler has also passed away.
Phaahla added that school attendance is slowly improving.
He said, “Attendance is uneven but we remain hopeful that with all the support there will be a gradual increase in learners and teachers returning to school. We will also monitor how youth and youth with disabilities will return to school and how this will impact their education”.
The Department of Education (DBE) revealed that 630 schools have sustained damage during the floods with 124 of them suffering serious damage. A further 72 schools are inaccessible.
The DBE has arranged for 98 mobile classrooms to be sent to the flood-affected areas in the province to aid learning. School learners are also being accommodated in community halls around the province where food and shelter are being provided to them.
Phaahla praised the collaborative effort to assist the flood victims. He said, “It is in times like this that we need to collaborate, unite and focus on solutions that will provide relief to all those in need. We appreciate all the offers of assistance from partners in the private and public sectors”.