Crisis caused by devastating KZN floods calls for a more united nation: Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has applauded the National Religious Forum (NRF) for its solidarity and support to victims of the devastating floods in various parts of the country and those affected by the fires in Cape Town.

Ramaphosa was addressing a Joint Sitting of Parliament on the destruction caused by flooding in Kwa-Zulu Natal, parts of the Eastern Cape and North West.

The President called the special sitting to address the nation on the effects of the disaster and the measures the government will put in place to assist the affected communities. His address coincided with a national prayer and walk of witness, conducted by various religious leaders representing different faith groups.

Ramaphosa said, “The National Religious Forum is conducting at this very minute a Walk of Witness at some of the flood affected areas in KwaZulu-Natal to assess the situation and offer solidarity and pastoral care, and counselling to those who have been affected.”

“The National Religious Forum has called on all South Africans to use this time at 2pm as we are meeting now, for a collective nationwide prayer. We applaud our religious leaders for providing comfort, support and encouragement at the very trying time of national grief,” said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa addresses a joint sitting of Parliament on recent floods:

Nation must be united

Ramaphosa says the crisis caused by the devastating floods requires the nation to be more united than ever before. He says such unity should also be seen across the political spectrum.

He told members of Parliament that the joint sitting was to also allow them to express solidarity to families who lost their loved ones and those displaced by the flooding.

“It is correct and appropriate that as the elected representative of the people of our country, you should also be involved in the work to rebuild the lives and livelihoods that have been affected by these floods. The extent of this crisis calls for unity in action across the nation. Within this Parliament as well across party lines,” says Ramaphosa.

“If there ever was a moment when we should all be united in action and indeed in our grief and mourning, this is the time. I wish to pay tribute to the various parties that are represented here in this Parliament, that visited the affected areas and provided support, counselling as well as mobilising material assistance to our people who were affected by these floods,” he added.