Severe storms and heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal, and worsening drought in the Eastern Cape are taking their toll on people and livestock.

One person has been killed by lightning in the Okhahlamba Local Municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.

The South African Weather Service has issued a warning that residents should brace themselves for more heavy rainfall in some parts of the province.

The Weather Service has warned of more rain in parts of KwaZulu-Natal province.

A section of the M4 Highway between the Sibaya circle and Umhlanga has been closed, due to flooding at one of the bridges in the area.

“They lost one of their loved ones when they were struck by lightning following the thunderstorms that we have been experiencing in KZN since yesterday. At this point in time, our disaster teams are on the ground conducting assessments and they are in touch with teams in the municipalities to analyse the extent of any incident that have occurred including damages. So, we are communicating preliminary information. At this stage, we will be able to communicate more comprehensively as soon as we have conducted all the assessments,” says Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso.

Meanwhile, the situation remains dire in drought-stricken parts of the Eastern Cape as farmers battle to keep their livestock alive. The province has been declared a drought disaster area and the Agriculture Department is seeking over R600 million to mitigate the situation.

MEC Nomakhosazana Meth says they’re doing their best to assist the farmers.

“As a provincial department we are doing something . The R74 million we are starting from today to source in service providers to provide us with a feed and we are putting a target for ourselves of the 18 November that at least we should be able to have delivered feed to these needy farmers but we are also calling upon the farmers themselves to fill in the forms for application that are available in the website.”

Agriculture Department deputy director Leon Coetzee says a long-term solution to the drought in the Eastern Cape is urgently needed.

“In response of the first question in terms of what services are we providing, our funding that we are currently making available is for feed, feed which consists of predominantly lucerne maize as well as hey for the energy part, the water provision we are also in collaboration with other departments for instance COGTA and the Department of water affairs in terms of emergency water provision so we are focusing on the immediate need now which is feed.”