THE Chinese government has become the latest in the growing list of philanthropists assisting with the reconstruction of lives and properties in KwaZulu-Natal following the recent deadly floods.
The ambassador of China in South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, yesterday (Wed) announced a donation of R1m to the relief aid for KZN.
“China shares the feelings of South Africans that are suffering from the disaster,” Ambassador Chen said during the ceremony held at their embassy in Pretoria. “Floods are merciless and it takes solidarity to emerge from them,” he added.
Ambassador Chen further undertook to mobilise the Chinese businesses and enterprises that operate in SA to get together and assist as best they can. “We will also make more funds and supplies available to the stricken area through various channels, including by mobilising Chinese enterprises and communities in South Africa,” he said, before adding:
“As we together confront the floods that are unseen in decades, the Chinese side is ready to provide assistance to your side within our capacity.”
More than 450 people lost their lives and properties and road infrastructure were badly damaged during the sudden floods that engulfed the KZN province.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has subsequently declared a state of national disaster to respond to the rapid provision of relief, particularly in assisting the thousands of displaced people.
On April 18, Chinese President Xi Jinping, sent a message of condolence to President Ramaphosa following the tragedy in KwaZulu Natal. A media statement released in Beijing read: “On behalf of the Chinese government and people as well as in his own name, President Xi expressed deep condolences to the victims of the disaster and extended sincere sympathies to the bereaved families, the injured and the affected.” President Xi’s statement also expressed his personal confidence in the leadership of President Ramaphosa, saying: “Under the strong leadership of the South African government, the people in the disaster area will surely overcome the disaster and rebuild homes at an early date.”
The SA government was represented by Social Development minister Lindiwe Zulu at the ceremony, who expressed great appreciation to the Chinese ambassador and his staff for strong bond that exist between the two countries.
And Ambassador Chen stressed: “China and South Africa are comprehensive strategic partners with each other and our traditional comrades plus brothers friendship has been strong for a long time.”