Runaway veld fires, which have affected various municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, have claimed one life.

In a statement issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Department, Muntukabongwa Mphikeni Gazu (67), was burnt to death when a veld fire set his home alight on Sunday night, at Ezinyosini area, in Ward 1.

The department said King Cetshwayo District is one of the most affected by wildfires, with uMfolozi, uMlalazi, Mthonjaneni and Nkandla being the hardest hit municipalities.

‘The King Cetshwayo District is one of the most affected by the wildfires, with uMfolozi, uMlalazi, Mthonjaneni, and Nkandla being the hardest-hit municipalities. In the uMlalazi Municipality alone, 11 wards are affected, with one fatality and two injuries reported.

‘The veld fires have impacted 144 people in the district, leaving 53 people homeless. Additionally, 48 houses were partially damaged, and 27 were destroyed,’ the department said.

The department said it is working closely with t
he municipality to ensure adequate support and relief for the affected families, with social partners setting up soup kitchens.

CoGTA MEC, Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi, has sent condolences to the Gazu family.

Buthelezi commended the brave men and women of the province’s disaster response teams for their heroic efforts in battling the runaway fires that devastated parts of the King Cetshwayo, uThukela, and uMzinyathi Districts.

Buthelezi said assessments in these areas are underway to determine the full extent of the damage caused by the fires.

‘The Provincial Disaster Management Centre will continue to monitor the inclement weather conditions expected across the province this week. Residents are urged to check weather forecasts before making any long journeys,’ the MEC said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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