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Eastern Cape floods: Homes washed away as more than 1 000 people are displaced

  • Nearly 1 000 people have taken shelter at community halls in Komani due to continued flooding and heavy rains in the Eastern Cape.
  • Aid organisation Gift of the Givers told News24 that some residents whose homes were destroyed refused to evacuate.
  • Chris Hani District Municipality spokesperson Bulelwa Ganyaza said the number of people housed in community halls would increase if rains persisted.

The number of people who have occupied community halls in Komani, Eastern Cape, continues to increase as floods wreak havoc in the province. 

The Gift of the Givers responded with humanitarian relief after the South African Weather Service issued a warning for the province on Wednesday.

Organisation coordinator in the province, Corene Conradie, told News24 that the government and local businesses had provided essential items like blankets and food. 

Conradie said some families refused to evacuate their homes that were destroyed.

She said the organisation would, on Friday, travel to Emalahleni, where 227 families were displaced.

“One bridge collapsed in that area, and one man died when his house collapsed on him,” she said. 

Chris Hani District Municipality spokesperson Bulelwa Ganyaza said about 1 000 people, including about 120 children and 24 infants, were housed at the Gali Thembani community hall.

READ | Body of SAPS VIP protector swept away by floods recovered in Soweto

Ganyaza said the number was expected to increase if heavy rains persisted.

She said disaster management teams were monitoring the situation.


Komani residents whose homes were flooded are in the Gali Thembani community hall. Pictured is a child being helped by a Gift of the Givers worker.

Meanwhile, the Queenstown Private Hospital moved patients to Frontier Hospital after the facility was flooded. Frontier Hospital is a private facility. 

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) said this highlighted the need for collaboration between public and private healthcare systems. 

Provincial secretary Veli Sinqana said the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) would bridge the gap between the private and public healthcare systems and ensure equal access to healthcare. 

“The two healthcare systems have a way of placing patients in silos with limited access to the other system even in the presence of help on the other side, which may not be readily available where the patient is at a particular moment,” said Sinqana.

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