By Precious Mupenzi

  • The community of Emagwaveni, Tongaat, is reeling from the devastation caused by a recent tornado, compounding the challenges of previous floods.
  • Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu and KwaZulu-Natal MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza visited the area to provide support and distribute Social Relief of Distress (SRD) vouchers to affected families.
  • Despite the destruction, the resilience and spirit of the community, especially its children, remain strong, as local efforts focus on recovery and ensuring safe environments for the youngest residents.

The resilient community of Emagwaveni, Tongaat, situated just outside Durban, is grappling with yet another blow from Mother Nature as a tornado swept through the area in a devastating display of force. This unfortunate event comes on the heels of recent floods that have plagued Tongaat over the past two years, worsening the challenges faced by its residents.

Less than four months ago, Tongaat was submerged under floodwaters, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. However, the community’s resilience is being put to the test once again, as the tornado leaves behind a fresh wave of destruction and displacement. In response, today, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, alongside KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development, Ms Nonhlanhla Khoza, and SASSA Regional Manager, Ms Thamo Mzobe, visited the Tongaat Sports Centre to offer support and distribute social relief distress vouchers to affected individuals and households.

Amidst the debris and destruction, there is a beacon of resilience and hope – the children of Emagwaveni. Despite the chaos surrounding them, the children continue to find joy in their everyday activities. At the local crèche, named “Qoqisizwe,” meaning “Uniting the Nation,” laughter still fills the air as children play amidst the rubble and fallen trees. The crèche, once a place of safety and happiness, now bears the scars of the tornado, with its roof torn off and debris scattered across the yard.

During the visit to the area, Minister Zulu expressed her concern for the conditions in which the children were playing. She emphasised the importance of prioritising the safety and well-being of children, stating, “It is unacceptable for children to be playing in such unclean and unsafe conditions under our watch as parents.”

Minister Zulu called upon the community to come together and assist in cleaning up the area, ensuring that the children have a safe and clean environment to play in. She stressed the need for immediate action, stating that children should be protected and cared for, even in the face of adversity.

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