“There was a loud bang – then I heard my children screaming for help”

Sihle Mkhize

Phumelele Linda from Ntuzuma told Scrolla.Africa that she lost everything in the floods – but  thanked God for saving her life.

An estimated 45 people have lost their lives in severe weather across the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Linda said that at around 11pm on Sunday she was woken by a huge bang. “My two children were screaming for help. I witnessed my furniture washed away with important documents such as IDs and SASSA grant cards,” she said.

Linda urged eThekwini municipality to speed the process of human settlement.

“Durban is known as one of the biggest cities and everyone is seeking job opportunities. Most of us normally erect shacks where there is vacant land,” she said.

As a result of heavy rain in Durban, bones of some of those buried at a cemetery in Ntuzuma D section, at Lindelani informal settlement, have been exposed.

The area has been severely affected by the heavy rains. The cemetery has flooded, leaving some graves excavated.

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala and eThekwini Municipality Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda visited the Jileka family in Georgedale, near Hammarsdale, who lost five family members following the devastating floods that wreaked havoc in KZN recently.

Buyie Mkhize, who was also affected, said she found herself and the entire family looking for ward councillor contact numbers.

“We couldn’t go to work, there was no public transport, the electricity went off, everything was a mess up,” she said.

KZN Cooperative Governance MEC Sipho Hlomuka said: “We lost a number of lives already…it is approximately 45 people in the eThekwini Municipality alone,” he confirmed.

Rescue teams were deployed across the city and its outskirts, rescuing people stranded on rooftops and trapped beneath tons of sand and rubble after houses were washed away.