Ramaphosa visits flood-ravaged town

By Zukile Majova

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be visiting the tourist destination of Port St Johns on Tuesday afternoon to see first hand the extent of the flood damage.

Port St Johns looks like a disaster zone this week after it was battered by heavy rains.

The poor drainage system saw the town flooded within hours, causing chaos and panic. At least three people have died while another is missing.

The flooding was so quick that motorists had no time to move their cars and abandoned them in the streets as the water rose almost waist deep in some areas.

People’s homes collapsed as the mud foundations could no longer hold.

Hundreds of people have been left homeless in the town and many more in the broader OR Tambo District Municipality which covers Mthatha and other holiday hotspots like Coffee Bay and Hole-in-the-Wall.

Scrolla.Africa reported the devastation on Monday.

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane was in the district on Monday and saw that part of the new N2 which connects the economic development zones of East London and Port Elizabeth to Durban, had been damaged.

“The municipality has been affected by torrential rainfall over the past week, which caused flooding resulting in loss of life, displacement of communities and damage to infrastructure,” the presidency said.

“Severe weather for which the South African Weather Service had issued warnings on 22 and 23 March affected communities in Port St Johns, Ingquza Hill, Nyandeni and King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipalities.”

The floods disrupted critical infrastructure and services to water and electricity supply services, teaching and learning institutions, as well as roads and bridges that collapsed.

Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Thembi Nkadimeng and Mabuyane.

Homeless families are currently sheltered at the Port St Johns Youth Centre.

Pictured above: Cyril Ramaphosa

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