South Africa’s armed forces have been deployed to help with relief efforts in the KwaZulu-Natal province, where more than 440 people died following torrential rains that triggered floods and mudslides last week.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said it had been instructed to activate 10,000 troops for tasks including mop-up work and transporting aid.
The SANDF would also provide medical support and helicopters for rescue and reconnaissance missions.
The death toll stands at 443, but with each passing day, hopes diminish of finding more survivors.
The floods have left thousands homeless, knocked out power and water services, and disrupted operations at one of Africa’s busiest ports, Durban.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised speech that his Cabinet had declared a national state of disaster because of the floods and extreme weather in several other provinces, which would allow for a more effective response to the crisis.
He said the finance minister would approach parliament over additional spending, beyond the 1 billion rands ($68 million) which he has said is immediately available.
The latest death toll from the floods stands at 443, with 48 people still unaccounted for, Ramaphosa said.
BY AL JAZEERA