The IFP demands urgent installation of lightning rods in the uMkhanyakude District following the death of five members of the Mngomezulu family in Ngonyameni area, Ingwavuma who were killed by lightning on Wednesday night.
“Firstly, we would like to send our heartfelt condolences to the Mngomezulu family and friends for the loss of their loved ones. We are saddened about this incident.
The roll-out of lightning conductors is crucial for the protection of rural communities which are vulnerable to extreme weather across the province.
Lightning is a big threat to our communities.
This incident follows another incident where it had been reported that four Grade 12 classrooms at Estcourt Secondary School were badly damaged when lightning struck the building earlier this month. The lightning strike, led to a fire that burnt chairs, tables, books and test scripts of about 180 Grade 12 pupils in the classrooms.
We have submitted written questions to the Department to seek answers into how many schools have been fitted with lighting conductors but we have not received any response so far,” said IFP Leader in the KZN Legislature, Mr Blessed Gwala MPL.
“Furthermore, thatched roofs constructed of soft material, such as straw, reed, grass or coconut leaves, are more susceptible to catching alight as a result of a lightning strike than any other roof type.
It is imperative that government is installing lightning conductors in rural areas.
We of the view that will continue to experience such unpredictable weather conditions as a result of climate change. Unfortunately, these are acts of nature and they are beyond our control. Our duty, however, is to be on alert and minimise the loss of life,” continued Mr Gwala.
“The IFP calls for mass awareness campaigns to ensure that people including children at a young age are armed with information on what to do to cope with the growing problems caused by natural disasters.
Such campaigns should encourage people to buy lighting conductors instead of waiting government to help them.
We remind people that the simple rule is that when you see lightning or hear thunder, no matter how far away, take shelter in a substantial building – one with electrical wiring and plumbing – or in a vehicle,” concluded Mr Gwala.
Mr Blessed Gwala MPL
IFP Leader in the KZN Legislature
078 290 5842