The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality says preliminary investigations suggest that over 4 000 houses in Mkhuhlu and surrounding villages, outside Hazyview, in Mpumalanga, have been damaged by the storm that hit the area on New Year’s eve.

Residents of Mkhuhlu are picking up the pieces and trying to rebuild what has been destroyed. Hundreds of houses were damaged when the storm that was accompanied by hail hit the area just before sunset on New Year’s Eve.

The storm left a trail of destruction, causing damage to structures including a local hospital.

Some residents who do not have insurance face a daunting task of repairing their houses from their own pockets.

“It looks as if somebody was on top of the roof with a hummer, pulling all the roof tiles and also windows are broken and the cars are being damaged, the windscreen, the back windows and on top of the cars, there are lots of dents.”

The residents are calling on government to assist.

The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality says a task team has been established to assess the damage.

Spokesperson for the municipality Aubrey Mnisi says their task is far from over.

“We are meeting as a committee that was established to look into the disaster.”

The municipality has issued out tents to all affected families as a temporary relief measure. More relief aid is expected to arrive in the area.