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Durban flood victims forced to sleep on hall floor, despite promises of aid

EWN counted about 10 mattresses at a temporary shelter in Umlazi, despite officials saying 75 people were being housed there.

FILE: This picture shows the Umhlatuzana Hindu Temple, south of Durban, damaged after the township was hit by heavy rain and flash floods following a torrential downpour on 23 April 2019. Picture: AFP

UMLAZI - Community halls housing Durban flood victims are in desperate need of assistance with many people being forced to sleep on the floor without enough mattresses to go around.

At least 75 people are being housed at a temporary shelter in Umlazi's Q section, which is one of the hardest-hit areas by this week’s deadly floods in KwaZulu-Natal.

Officials said the death toll in the province had risen to at least 67, while four others were killed in the Eastern Cape.

Eyewitness News visited a hall in Umlazi where flood victims were being given shelter and food.

EWN counted about 10 mattresses, despite officials saying 75 people were being housed there.

Sindy Mkhize, a ward committee member, said they’d been working with very limited resources.

“The floor space at the hall is enough for people to sleep on but we don't have enough mattresses, food and blankets.”

Aid organisations such as the Red Cross have also been lending a hand.

While on Wednesday President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged funding to assist survivors of the disaster, many there said they had yet to see any help from the government.

Earlier on Thursday EWN spoke to an Umlazi resident who said she had resorted to squatting with a relative while she waited for government aid after her house was destroyed by flooding.

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