Saturday, 30 April 2022 22:31

Zikalala hopes Mdlalose family's faith in God remained unshaken.

By Iavan Pijoos.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has paid tribute to the Mdlalose family at the funeral of six of their relatives who died during the devastating floods this month.

The funeral was held in Sweetwaters, Okhalweni, near Siyanda High School in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.

Slindile, Uyanda, Lubanzi, Ziyanda, Asanele and Lulama Mdlalose died in the floods while four other family members are still missing.

"A veil of sadness, darkness, and grief has covered the beautiful area of Sweetwaters, an area that is known for its resilience and survival. But still, we know that the rainbow of hope will rise from the clouds to keep our hope burning for a tomorrow that is better than today."

Zikalala said:The pain and grief of losing one family member is difficult to describe and bear. How much more is the agony of burying six loved ones and still facing the torment of finding the four missing ones? How do we start consoling the family that faces such heartache and calamity?

He added he hoped and prayed the Mdlalose family's faith in God remained unshaken by this "monumental and irreplaceable loss".

"It is at such times of calamity and personal disaster that we turn our full attention to God because He is the only one who understands and authors our lives from the womb to the tomb."

More than 400 people lost their lives when the floods engulfed the province, leaving many homeless and stranded.

The floods damaged more than 630 schools, 101 were deemed inaccessible and 124 suffered extensive damage.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga previously said 64 pupils had died, while five children were still missing.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the damage to health facilities in KZN would cost R185 million to repair.

Meanwhile, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said her department had managed to provide shelter to about 8 400 people, with 98 shelters established.

Zikalala said the floods were merciless, killing breadwinners, young innocent children and vulnerable women.

"It is for those of us who have been spared who must not only live to tell the tale of death and destruction but also narrate the story of hope in the face of death and the reconstruction of our beautiful province and the remaking of the lives of our people."

He added the provincial government, together with the national government and municipalities, was in the process of identifying and releasing habitable and suitable land for human settlements to discourage people from building in dangerous places like near river banks.

"Our province has gone through challenging times before. We remain resilient and unbroken in the face of death.

"The task of rebuilding KwaZulu-Natal cannot be achieved by our caring government alone. It requires that we entrench the new spirit of solidarity and patriotism that we have seen in our province," Zikalala said.