Severe storms and heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal, and worsening drought in the Eastern Cape are taking their toll on people and livestock.

One person has been killed by lightning in the Okhahlamba Local Municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.

The South African Weather Service has issued a warning that residents should brace themselves for more heavy rainfall in some parts of the province.

“They lost one of their loved ones when they were struck by lightning following the thunderstorms that we have been experiencing in KZN since yesterday. At this point in time, our disaster teams are on the ground conducting assessments and they are in touch with teams in the municipalities to analyse the extent of any incident that has occurred including damages,” said Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso.

Meanwhile, the situation remains dire in drought-stricken parts of the Eastern Cape as farmers battle to keep their livestock alive.

The province has been declared a drought disaster area and the agriculture department is seeking over R600 million to mitigate the situation.

Member of the Executive Council (MEC), Nomakhosazana Meth said they’re doing their best to assist the farmers.

“As a provincial department, we are doing something. The R74 million we are starting, from today to source in service providers to provide us with a feed and we are putting a target for ourselves of the 18 November that at least we should be able to have delivered feed to these needy farmers,” she said.

Agriculture Department Deputy Director, Leon Coetzee said a long-term solution to the drought in the Eastern Cape is urgently needed.

“Our funding that we are currently making available is for feed, feed which consists of predominantly lucerne maize as well as hey for the energy part, the water provision we are also in collaboration with other departments for the Department of water affairs in terms of emergency water provision so we are focusing on the immediate need now which is feed.”