South Africa’s recent flash-floods that devastated parts of KwaZulu-Natal province were proof that the country was not ready to deal with disasters at such a gigantic scale, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The president made the observation when he addressed the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Durban on Sunday.
“This disaster proved to us that we are not ready as we would like to be,” Ramaphosa said, pointing out that the country needed to invest in ensuring that it was “disaster ready” in the future.
Over 400 people lost their lives while thousands were displaced when the province was hit by flash floods that caused massive landslides and damage to property in Durban-KwaZulu Natal and the surrounding suburbs.
Ramaphosa pledged government support to help the business sector which has been hard-hit by the recent disaster, with operations at most companies screeching to a halt.
“As a business community, you have been through a great deal of challenges. As government, we are committed to work with business in this province,” the president added.
Ramaphosa said the country could learn from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which was regarded as the biggest construction site as it was rebuilding the province.
“I travelled to the Middle East and I could see why the UAE is being regarded as the biggest construction site in the world. We, too, can also live up to that,” Ramaphosa encouraged the Chamber of Commerce.