Oct 18, 2017 Last Updated 3:20 PM, Oct 16, 2017


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At least 11 people have died in KwaZulu-Natal with officials warning the death toll could climb as rescue operations resume on Thursday.

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government is counting the cost of the storm as mop-up operations continue.

“We are taking stock of Tuesday’s mega-storm and streamlining our joint efforts as provincial and local government to begin with clean-up operations. We wish to assure the communities that our government is on top of its game in our endeavour to minimise the impact of this storm on our residents and businesses,” acting KZN MEC of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Weziwe Thusi said.

“A total of 42 schools in KZN were gravely affected by the storm and nine of these are high schools where there are upcoming matric examinations. Plans are however underway to ensure that pupils from all affected schools will be able to sit their exams as per the set schedule and the Department of Education will be communicating directly with the learners and parents.”

The provincial government said it was working with the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and other affected councils to alleviate the impact of the mega-storm on Tuesday, to bring back normalcy to those affected.

“Many people’s lives have been interrupted by displacement, power outages and severe damage to both public and private infrastructure. In addition, KZN’s schools and hospitals have experienced serious interruptions to their operations,” the department said.

“The torrential rain has also caused enormous damage to healthcare institutions largely in the eThekwini metro, including Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, RK Khan Hospital, Wentworth Hospital, St Aidans Hospital, King Edward Hospital, Clairwood Hospital, and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. All affected patients have been moved to safe premises.”

The provincial government was appealing to all private sector insurance companies to expedite the processing of claims to assist clients.

Government would also assess the extent of damages to make a determination on formal declaration of disaster areas if it is deemed necessary in terms of the applicable legislation, Cogta said.

“The extent of damage to public and private infrastructure in KZN includes flooded and blocked roads, 19 collapsed buildings and perimeter walls, blocked storm water drains and sewer lines, flooded buildings and households and power outages as a result of electric cable damage. We are currently assisting all displaced communities and working on all necessary repairs,” said Thusi.

Oscar Pistorius is reportedly unhappy about the Lifetime Networks movie based on the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

During the highly publicised trial, the Blade Runner insisted he mistook his girlfriend for a robber.

Both the Steenkamp and Pistorius' families are considering legal action over the movie.

The film is set to premier in the United States on 11 November, but no date has yet been given for the local release.

Pistorius is serving a six-year prison sentence for the murder of Steenkamp. 

President Jacob Zuma will host his Zimbabwean counterpart, Robert Mugabe, in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The pair will attend the second session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission.

Zuma and Mugabe will review the state of the bilateral relationship between the countries.

More than a hundred South African companies do business in Zimbabwe.

This is Mugabe’s first visit after his wife, Grace, was accused of assaulting a woman at a Johannesburg hotel in August.

She was subsequently granted diplomatic immunity against the charges.

South Africa's public broadcaster has apologised to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a leading politician, for referring to her as President Jacob Zuma's ex-wife rather than using her name.

SABC CEO Nomsa Philiso said the corporation had made "demeaning" mistakes that were "sexist and wrong".

It has apologised before for calling the politician Nkosazana "mini-Zuma".

Ms Dlamini-Zuma previously served as chairperson of the African Union commission.

Jacob Zuma is expected to step down as leader of the governing African National Congress party in December and has endorsed her to succeed him as ANC president, and preferably of the country after elections due in 2019.

She was one of his three wives until she divorced him in 1998.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma tweeted her response to the apology, saying the SABC had a responsibility to report fairly.

The "mini-Zuma" gaffe last month was attributed to "human error" by the SABC.

"As a public service broadcaster, the SABC remains committed to serving South Africa and the African continent diligently in fostering a non-sexist and non-racist approach to our coverage of events here and elsewhere as expected of us," Ms Philiso was quoted by broadcaster eNCA as saying.

The Local South African Airways (SAA) office still claims it is unaware of reports that their mother company is cutting its Malawi routes.

About two weeks ago South African media reported that SAA intends to cut the number of flights and routes in some parts of Africa and within South Africa.

The move is expected to allow SAA to scale back their fleet from 50 aircrafts to only 40, of which they own only nine.

The development has raised fears amongst the travelling public that frequent the SA-Malawi route, especially the business community.

The South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is meanwhile expected to make an announcement on an equity injection during the next parliament’s medium term budget policy statement session next month.

Capital FM has been trying to get an update on the issue, but the country director for SAA in Malawi James Chikaonda insists there have not been any new developments that they are aware of on the matter.

SAA is the flag carrier of South Africa. Its headquarters are in Airways Park on the grounds of OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

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