Durban - The cost of last week's devastating floods that killed 70 people and displaced thousands of people across KwaZulu-Natal has soared to R1.1bn, Premier Willies Mchunu said on Monday.
In addition, the premier said that he would be appealing to President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare the province a state of disaster
Mchunu held a briefing on Monday following an emergency meeting with the eThekwini Municipality's executive committee on Friday.
The briefing was meant to inform media of the decisions taken by the city's executive council during an emergency meeting on Friday.
"The KwaZulu-Natal cabinet at its specially convened meeting resolved to seek for the classification of the Provincial State of Disaster. We requested National Government to invoke Section 41 of the Disaster Management Act No.57 because the Province alone cannot cope with these incidents," said Mchunu.
"We also resolved to make sure that all locations where they going to hold elections are to be restored immediately."
Mchunu said that the toll now stands at 70, with 64 of those coming from eThekwini metropolitan and 6 from Ugu district.
Mchunu revealed that the cost to infrastructure resulting from the Durban floods currently stands at R1.1 billion.
About 1 659 people have been displaced and are being accommodated in temporary tents while 50 people are injured.
Mchunu urged people to visit mortuaries so they can identify the bodies.
Two people are still missing said Mchunu but the city continues its search operations.
So far, there have been 235 homes that have been recorded as damaged.
KZN MEC for Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Ncube-Dube, said that the city will assist all families of the deceased.
She said that assessment of damage is still on going.
"The assessment will inform the president's president's availability of funds," she said.