Wednesday 18th November 2020: We are deeply concerned about the plight of rural families and communities affected by the tornado that hit OR Tambo District Municipality. The tornado was accompanied by strong winds, a heavy downpour and lightning left some schools, places of worship, livestock, homes and electricity infrastructure destroyed. The Mthatha Airport building was also affected.
Rural communities are always worse impacted by natural disasters as they are already suffering from poverty, inequality and under-development. This makes it so much more difficult for them to deal with natural disasters and increase their dependency on the state, civil society, relief and philanthropic agencies.
We call on Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to invoke the Disaster Management Act so that appropriate remedial actions can be taken and so that much needed emergency assistance can reach the suffering communities.
We also call on our Minister of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development to come to the aid of all those affected in this rural area. Many have lost their homesteads, crops and livestocks and the most vulnerable are now left even more devastated.
I also call on our philanthropic champions who never fail to come to the aid of communities in distress in South Africa, Africa and all over the world and to ordinary South Africans to open their hearts and support relief initiatives.
We are defined as a nation by how we respond to the plight of others in the deepest hour of their need and when they are most vulnerable.
Nkosi Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and grandson of famed South African President Nelson Mandela. Member of Parliament (MP) South Africa National Assembly. All articles by Nkosi Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela