Ladysmith business owners count losses after severe floods

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Business owners in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, say the persistent floods in the area are crippling their businesses.

The town was flooded again this week after 25 people were killed in flash floods on Christmas Eve.

Parts of the town centre were flooded, and the N11 running through the town was closed following Monday’s heavy rains.

Over 100 people were evacuated from various low-lying areas.

It is still raining in Ladysmith, but the water has subsided enough for the authorities to reopen the N11.

Business owner Solomon Fantu says he has lost all his stock.

“We’re struggling. We have lost, on my side say a couple of millions. So, there’s nothing to save right now. I lost everything. So, we have to start again to buy the stock, so we don’t have anything. We’re struggling totally.”

The owner of a funeral parlour, Thembani Makhubo, says the floods have destroyed documents, making it difficult to continue with funerals and to assist clients to claim death benefits.

“You know, some families have already prepared their funerals that they’re going to bury their loved ones. They come here, they cannot access anything from us. Some of the files got destroyed through water. Some of the insurance companies are going to phone to confirm the death. It’s becoming difficult for us because some of the information got lost due to these floods. Ja, it’s very bad on our side as we’ve already faced this challenge,” explains Makhubo.