Floods and heavy storms in South Africa have killed at least 123 people and left around 20 000 in need of immediate basic relief aid, a government official said Monday.
South Africa declared 33 municipalities in eight of its nine provinces disaster areas last week after torrential rains since mid-December damaged thousands of homes and flooded farm lands.
"An estimation is that plus-minus 20 000 people are affected by this natural disaster. This number might grow as we get different provincial reports," said social development ministry spokesperson Abram Phahlamohlaka.
An extra R20-million is needed to provide three months of basic aid such as food parcels to victims, with the government appealing to civil society, business and the public to assist.
"As a starter we need at least R20-million," said Phahlamohlaka, adding that most of the affected were in poor communities.
An interim report by the ministry at the weekend upped the death toll to 123, with 88 of the fatalities in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.
At the weekend, Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka said the flood damage was estimated at R356-million so far, with reports from some provinces yet to come in.