Mop-up operations continue in Margate after heavy rains

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Businesses and residents of Margate on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast are reeling from the impact of two nights of flash floods in the area. The heavy rains began on Sunday night.

Five people died due to the inclement weather.

Three people drowned when the vehicle they were travelling in was washed away, one other person one was struck by lightning.

The fifth victim fell from the roof when he was trying to stop the water from entering the property. Business owner, Brandon Smith, says there has been lack maintenance in the seaside town.

“So, due to the infrastructure and lack of maintenance on our storm water drains, the drainage collapsed and it caused Hunter’s Stream, which runs from the top of the main road all the way down to the beachfront to cause all the damage you are seeing here tonight. Luckily, we were on site, so, we managed to keep all the water from coming into the restaurant but the damage has caused massive issues to our infrastructure and our foundation. The overall support of our entrance area has caused us to close business and try to repair. We’ve come together as a community to try to clean up and hopefully the municipality can also come on board and try to do their part.”

Stephen Herbst is from the community-led initiative, Tidy Towns, that sees volunteers restoring and cleaning up towns on the KZN south coast. Herbst says local residents are coming together to get back on their feet.

“We mobilised the community and they came together and a team of volunteers and the community has come out. You know it’s in our best interests to get this place up and running and invite tourism back to the area. It’s the lifeblood of this area, Margate is the Eiffel Tower of the south coast. All this machinery you see is local businessmen, tiny towns guys that are involved with us and it’s all sponsored including the fuel. We live in the best community in SA, this isn’t the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last.”