South Africa declared a state of disaster so the government can accelerate its response to widespread floods and free up funds for assisting with reconstruction.
It was the second such pronouncement in less than a week. President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday declared a national state of disaster over an energy crisis that’s crippling the nation’s economy.
The declaration will enable an intensive, coordinated response to floods affecting the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, and North West provinces, according to a statement from the presidency.
The floods have damaged homes, businesses, basic infrastructure, roads, and bridges and affected crops and livestock.
Further losses are anticipated as the South African Weather Service predicts that current heavy rains will persist, the presidency said.
South Africa is experiencing the La Nina weather phenomenon, which usually causes above-normal rainfall in the country and its neighbors.
Early last year, many parts of the nation recorded the heaviest rains since tracking by district began in 1921.
Those floods coupled with severe power outages led the economy to contract in the second quarter.
The disaster declaration will allow for temporary shelters, food, and blankets to the homeless as well as large-scale, costly rehabilitation of infrastructure, the presidency said.