Local Politics

Operation Chariot to help flood-stricken Eastern Cape

Operation Chariot troops have been deployed to the Eastern Cape to help find the missing people following floods in parts of the province ahead of the Easter weekend.

This after members of the Mngungu community reported four people missing to the police on Monday. The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) said: “Due to the distance that had to be covered in the search, as well as the manpower required, the SA National Defence Force was called to assist in searching for the bodies along the Mzimba River located on the border of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.”

On Monday, the SANDF said it would deploy 10 000 Operation Chariot troops to aid the flood-stricken KwaZulu-Natal following floods that claimed over 400 lives and uprooted homes and damaged other properties including schools, roads and bridges.

The SANDF said the deployment of Operation Chariot troops includes the immediate activation of five battalion headquarters and 15 companies with engineering capabilities.

“The additional 45 companies will be in a readiness state to mobilise when and if instructed to render support as part of the disaster relief teams in the area of KwaZulu-Natal. The troops will include regulars and reserves, with the reserve capability that is on active call-up and already enlisted at their various reserve units where they are currently registered.”

The army will also render support in establishing field accommodation, providing fresh water with its water purification systems, and the deployment of electricians for restoring power and plumbers for restoring water supplies in the areas that have been affected by the floods.

“The SA Army pledges include 31×10 000 litre water bunkers, 3x water provisioning systems, 2x water points with 1-litre bottled water/plastic sachets, a platoon of electricians and plumbers, 60x16x16 tents and bedding for the affected communities.”

It added that the chief air force would further offer air services such as two medium utility helicopters, two light utility helicopters, and a fixed-wing aircraft to aid the disaster management efforts and search and rescue operations. Its medical support would also be at hand to assist.

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Nompilo Zulu

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