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Premier Ndebele commends people of KwaZulu-Natal

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Premier Ndebele commends people of KwaZulu-Natal

20 March 2007

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele has commended the people of KwaZulu-Natal for the manner in which they rallied together during the adverse weather conditions experienced in the province over the past two days.

The Premier also expressed his condolences to the families and relatives of those killed and wished those injured a speedy recovery.

Emergency services personnel including officials from the South African Police Service (SAPS), ambulance services, provincial government, local government, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) as well as ordinary members of the public all rallied together to ensure that the loss of life was minimised. For this we are extremely grateful to the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

Officials from the provincial Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs in conjunction with the respective municipalities will today assess the full impact of the damage caused which is expected to run
into millions of rands.

On the South Coast alone it is estimated that damage to mainly government infrastructure, including roads and amenities at the beaches, runs into almost half a billion rands.

"As at the early hours of this morning (20 March 2007) most of the affected areas in the province were reported to be back to normal. However, emergency services will remain on standby to monitor the situation. We also want to assure visitors to our province that we are working hard to ensure that the situation returns to normal," said Ndebele.

Most of the damage to the coastline from St Lucia in the north of the province to Port Edward in the south occurred during the high tide in the early hours of Monday morning.

Officials and residents along the entire coastline were seen cleaning up and officials were doing their level best to protect members of the public.

The SA Weather Service in Durban said winds in excess of 40 knots [80kph or gale force] were reported on Sunday night. The heavy weather forced the closure of all port operations in Durban and Richards Bay.

It was reported that the particularly high tides experienced on Monday and Tuesday was due to the alignment of the moon, sun and earth. This compounded with the strong onshore winds had caused the huge surf.

Media contact:

Logan Maistry
Spokesperson to Premier Ndebele
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
Cell: 083 644 4050

Issued by: Office of the Premier, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
20 March 2007
Source: SAPA

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