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PICS: Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls for an investigation into root cause of the flooding in parts of the CBD

Iphrail Icala and Xolani Ndaba from Windsor Secondary School in Ladysmith remove water from a classroom after the recent floods in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. Pictures: Theo Jeptha African News Agency (ANA)

Iphrail Icala and Xolani Ndaba from Windsor Secondary School in Ladysmith remove water from a classroom after the recent floods in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. Pictures: Theo Jeptha African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 20, 2022

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DURBAN - THE Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it was imperative that the uThukela District Municipality investigates the root cause of the flooding in parts of the CBD that disrupted business operations.

On Wednesday, schools and businesses affected were photographed being cleaned and drained by staff.

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Municipality spokesperson Jabulani Mkhonza said a comprehensive report was expected to be handed to the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs department on Thursday.

Xolani Ndaba of Windsor Secondary School clears out a water-logged classroom after the recent floods in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. Pictures: Theo Jeptha African News Agency (ANA)

Ladysmith chamber manageress Jennifer Wallace said the recent flooding in the lower part of the CBD was devastating for businesses and created chaos with traffic flow in the town, especially as the N11 was closed and all traffic was diverted through the main street.

Wallace said that the full impact of the flood on businesses would be discussed with the municipality.

A clothing shop in the Murchison Mall in Ladysmith and the damage they had to deal with after the recent floods in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. Pictures: Theo Jeptha African News Agency (ANA)

Mkhonza said that torrential rainfall accompanied by lightning caused damage to households, businesses and infrastructure.

On Wednesday, some of the residents evacuated from their flooded homes were still at the Indoor Sports Centre in Ladysmith where they were being housed.

The water levels are beginning to subside in the Ladysmith CBD after the recent floods. Pictures: Theo Jeptha African News Agency (ANA)

Mkhonza said 94 people were reported to be affected, 22 adults and three children were evacuated and given temporary accommodation.

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The Alfred Duma Local Municipality, which consists of the Emnambithi/ Ladysmith and Indaka local municipalities, is part of the Uthukela District.

Navindra Rampath, principal of Windsor Secondary School in Ladysmith, with all the books and damaged furniture after the recent floods in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Theo Jeptha African News Agency (ANA)

Alfred Duma municipal mayor, Zama Sibisi, raised concerns about the impact that the floods had on small businesses. She hoped that stakeholders would come on board and assist the businesses.

Sibisi said an influx of water entered the Klip River causing it to flow at extremely high levels. The purpose of the Qedusizi Flood Attenuation Dam was to reduce the risk of flooding of the low lying areas of Ladysmith.

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Iphrail Icala and Xolani Ndaba from Windsor Secondary School in Ladysmith were hard at work removing water from inside a classroom after the recent floods in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. Pictures: Theo Jeptha African News Agency (ANA)

Sibisi said that the flooding of the streets within the lower-lying areas of the CBD, such as Forbes Street, Lyell, Alexandra, Queen, King, Princess and Settlers Drive, resulted from the stormwater outlets not being able to discharge into the Klip River due to the extremely high river levels.

“The current infrastructure is functional and maintained. Ladysmith has experienced a natural disaster with excessive volumes of water flowing within the river channel thus not allowing the collection of stormwater and groundwater to be channelled and discharged into the Klip River.”

Iphrail Icala from Windsor Secondary School in Ladysmith removes water from a water-logged classroom after the recent floods in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. Pictures: Theo Jeptha African News Agency (ANA)

Sibisi said a detailed report would be compiled once the river had subsided and damage to infrastructure could be ascertained.

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The mayor also reassured businesses that teams were ready for mop-up interventions once the Klip River water levels had subsided.

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