Unions have mixed reactions to govt's response to KZN floods

As KwaZulu-Natal continues with its mop-up operations in the aftermath of the deadliest flooding, the death toll now stands at 341 with 55 people injured.

KZN has been hit by devastating floods. Picture: Nhlanhla Mabaso/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - There's been mixed reaction from several unions to the government's response to the devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal.

As KwaZulu-Natal continues with its mop-up operations in the aftermath of the deadliest flooding, the death toll now stands at 341, with 55 people injured.

More than 40,000 people have been affected and efforts to restore power, and access to drinking water are expected to yield results on Friday.

Trade union Numsa said that the damage suffered was a result of the government's failure to provide land and decent housing.

The union's Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said that they supported demands by Abahlali Basemjondolo for progressive organisations to assist with food, clothing, and building material.

"Hundreds of their members lost their homes and their belongings. We support the demands made by ABM calling for the government to allocate decent land so that people can be moved away from riverbanks. Land must be made available for the poor and the margianalised, they must be allowed to build proper housing. They are calls for the public to assist with the efforts, especially with water, food, and clothes," Hlubi-Majola said.

Meanwhile, the South African Police Union said that the state of disaster declaration created an opportunity for opportunistic criminals who would take advantage when people are vulnerable.

"We are condemning such criminal activities even during this state of disaster. It should not be seen as an opportunity that criminals would continue with their criminality," said Sapu's Lesiba Thobakgale.