How Government Has Assisted Disaster Victims

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The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for millions of South Africans as floods ravaged parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, while fires in the Western Cape burned down hundreds of homes.

 


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Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla briefed the media on Thursday on the government's response to assisting victims of the flooding in KZN and the Eastern Cape.

Phaahla revealed that the Department of Social Development (DSD) has been on the ground assisting thousands of people who were displaced by the floods. Victims are currently being housed in shelters, community halls and churches.

He said that the main focus of the DSD is to assist women, children, the elderly and disabled individuals.

He revealed that 4 000 women, around 1 700 children, just above 1 000 elderly individuals and 200 disabled individuals are being housed in shelters, community halls and churches around the province.

Phaahla said that the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is assisting victims by providing meals, blankets, mattresses and dignity packs to fulfil their basic needs.

Social workers and community development professionals have also been dispatched to provide psychosocial support, counselling and all needed services to the victims.

Social workers have reportedly seen 16 000 individuals, and the DSD is also providing Social Relief of Distress (SRD).

The grant has benefited 3000 people so far to the value of R5 million. School uniforms were bought for learners with a value of R370 000

The DSD is also assisting families in arranging funerals for victims who perished in the floods

Phaahla said that the government is mobilising stakeholders to assist victims. He also thanked embassies of different countries that donated to the KZN relief effort.

Approximately 2 713 people have been provided with SRD in the Eastern Cape. The DSD is also providing relief to people in the Western Cape for the 765 fire victims of the Langa fire. These victims have also been provided with meals, blankets, mattresses and dignity packs.

 

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