The Mngeni River in full flood after the massive storm hit Durban on Monday. eThekwini council today declared a state of emergency in the city.

Durban - At an urgent Exco meeting on Friday, the eThekwini Municipality urgently requested the province to declare a state of disaster in the city and committed R658 million towards assistance and repairs following the devastating storm in Durban this week. 

At the emergency meeting of the city's executive committee which remains under way, the recommendation was approved unanimously, while all units of the city are being directed "to assess infrastructure and implement emergency rehabilitation where required". 

Over 60 lives were lost and thousands were displaced this week as homes and roads were destroyed in the torrential rains.

The meeting comes after a wave of protests in Umlazi on Thursday evening from communities badly affected by the flooding and mudslides. Protesters were demanding to know why infrastructure problems were not fixed after the devastating storm of October 10, 2017, that caused much the same havoc in the same areas. 

This morning residents from informal settlements along the Mngeni River also blocked roads in Springfield Park and Reservoir Hills. Municipal workers also downed tools at the city's water and sanitation works in the area.

On Thursday eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede said aging infrastructure and clogged storm water drains were not to blame for several mudslides which damaged homes and roads.

The Independent on Saturday