North West sends team to help in search and rescue efforts in KwaZulu-Natal

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The North West Disaster Management Centre is sending a team of 17 urban search and rescue personnel to KwaZulu-Natal to assist following devastating floods in the province.

The North West Co-operative Governance Department says it has heeded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call on South Africans to unite in assisting the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

At least 448 people have died in the floods.

In the video below, SABC News’ Chriselda Lewis speaks to Pinetown residents about the devastation:

The department’s acting head Mamorena Lehoko says the rescue team will provide specialized services to the KwaZulu-Natal government.

“We are responding to the call by our President Cyril Ramaphosa who issued a call to all departments, all institutions to assist with the situation in KwaZulu-Natal which is a disaster. These are specialists which are trained in the specialized skill of fire fighting and also in dearth and rescue as well as engineering. We will be releasing from our side about 17 search and rescue personnel to go to KwaZulu-Natal.”

Sithembiso Foloti and Klaas Martions are part of the team.

“We responded to a number of disasters in Africa. Those were mostly rescues, unlike this one which is search and recover. This one is simpler because we can plan ahead it’s a swift operation.” said Foloti.

“This is the first time I’m on a mission such as this. I’m not scared because we’re doing this everyday. It’s part of our work, our duties. For me going out and helping people, that’s what I wanna do,” added Martions.