Fri. Jul 19th, 2019

Durban floods: eThekwini Municipality commits R658m towards infrastructure repairs

durban kzn floods april 2019The eThekwini Municipality agreed on Friday to make R658m available for repairs and assistance after floods ravaged the area.

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As reported by IOL, the decision was made at an emergency Exco meeting on 26 April, when members of the city’s executive committee unanimously approved the motion.

Members of the eThekwini region were severely affected following the devasting storms this week. Residents gathered at Umlazi on Thursday evening to demand that infrastructure issues be attended to.

The area was hit by devastating storms and floods two years ago. However, no repairs were affected. Residents believe that poor infrastructure only contributed towards the devastation this year.

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This picture taken on 23 April 2019 shows the Umhlatuzana Hindu Temple, south of Durban, damaged after the township was hit by heavy rain and flash floods following torrential downpour. Photo: RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP

Nearly 3 000 households were affected by devastating storms in October 2017. About 230 fallen trees had to be cleared, and stormwater systems were severely affected.

Furthermore, the area was hit by more than 50 landslides resulting in 67 damaged roads and 135 potholes. More than 50 utility hole covers were swept away, and 49 roads were washed away.

At the time, the city needed an estimated R250m for repairs, as well as an additional R5m to restore water and electricity infrastructure.

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Police officers try to rescue people trapped in their homes destroyed in a mudslide following torrential downpours and flash floods, near Westcliff Secondary School in Chatsworth, south of Durban. Photo: RAJESH JANTILAL / AFP

Protesters gathered at settlements along the Mngeni River this monring. In addition, they also blocked roads in Springfield Park and Reservoir Hills.

Municipal workers at water and sanitation areas also joined the protests by downing their tools. This follows after eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede said on Thursday that poor infrastructure was not to blame for the mudslides.

As it stands, 67 lives were lost, and thousands of residents were displaced when roads and homes were destroyed in torrential rains.

The death toll in eThekwini – based only on confirmed deaths – is expected to increase as rescue efforts continue. MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said:

“We can confirm that we still have sites with active search and rescue scenes. These include, one at Tshelimyama where a vehicle was washed away and one at Mega Philani Bridge where a person was washed away. We also are looking at reports about a missing person at Silverglen. It is believed that the person may have drowned in the Inanda dam. The combined death toll in the province which includes Ugu so far is at 67, these are verified with SAPS and does not include unverified [deaths].”

Read – Durban floods latest: Search for bodies goes on, death toll to rise

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