South Africa Launches Relief for Durban Flooding; 443 Dead

JOHANNESBURG — Declaring a national state of disaster, South Africa has allocated $67 million to help those hit by floods that have killed at least 443 people in the eastern city of Durban and the surrounding Kwazulu-Natal province.

Nearly 4,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 40,000 people displaced by the floods caused by prolonged heavy rains, provincial officials said Tuesday. More than 400 people remain missing and about 600 schools have been hit with damages estimated at about $28 million, according to officials.

South Africa’s military has deployed 10,000 troops in Operation Chariot to deliver food, water, and clothing to flood victims, help with search and rescue efforts, and rebuild collapsed roads and bridges. Water tankers have been sent to areas where access to clean water has been disrupted and teams are working to restore electricity to large areas.

Visiting some of the flooded areas last week, South African President Cyril Ramophosa blamed climate change for the unprecedented rains, the heaviest in at least 60 years. Announcing the state of disaster in a televised address Monday night, Ramaphosa pledged that government funds for the flood victims will not be lost to corruption.

“There can be no room for corruption, mismanagement or fraud of any sort,” said Ramaphosa.

“Learning from the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are drawing together various stakeholders to be part of an oversight structure to ensure all funds disbursed to respond to this disaster are properly accounted for and that the state receives value for money,” he said.

Ramaphosa’s remarks come after widespread graft was uncovered by the state’s Special Investigating Unit in state funds that were supposed to help the nation respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize resigned after the investigation found that businesses linked to his family benefited from inflated COVID-19 contracts from his department.

Despite Ramaphosa’s pledge, many South Africans are skeptical that government funds for flood relief will not be diverted by corruption. Several businesses, prominent South Africans and charities have pledged money to private organizations.

South African businessman Patrice Motsepe, Ramaphosa’s brother-in-law, has made one of the biggest donations pledging about $2 million to Gift of the Givers, a South African-based disaster relief organization. The University of Johannesburg said it will also donate funds directly to Gift of the Givers.

South African-born Hollywood actress Charlize Theron has also appealed for funds for flood relief through her Africa Outreach Project.

South Africa had been in a national state of disaster over COVID-19 since March 2020 until it was lifted two weeks ago, but it has now been reinstated in response to the Durban floods.



WASHINGTON — Appearing before a federal judge after pleading guilty to a felony charge in the deadly Capitol riot, former West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans expressed remorse for letting down his family and his community, saying he made a “crucial mistake.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.