Costs related to KZN floods stands at R17 billion

There are fears that the continuing rains may cause further damage and lead to the rise of costs to repair infrastructure impacted by the recent floods.

An elderly woman is assisted across a broken bridge, most of which was washed away by the floods, at Amaoti, Inanda yesterday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency(ANA)

Published Apr 26, 2022

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DURBAN - DESPITE the rest of South Africa being set to celebrate Freedom Day tomorrow, KwaZulu-Natal will not be in a celebratory mood as the province continues to count the rising costs of the recent devastating floods.

Costs attached to the floods stand at R17 billion. The figure may rise as assessment of the damage continues.

The Transport Department suffered the highest costs, of more than R6bn as many roads and bridges were damaged, while the Department of Human Settlements’ costs stood at more than R2.5bn owing to the many houses that collapsed.

When it comes to local government, eThekwini also bore the heaviest brunt from the floods, with current estimates standing at R2.1bn, with Ugu District alone recording R1.9bn.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa will need R955 million for immediate repairs, with long-term repair work set to cost more than R1.6bn.

Premier Sihle Zikalala conceded that determining the costs attached to the floods was a difficult task.

“The overall total estimate of the flood damage at this stage is approximately R17bn. It must be stressed that the assessments are still a work in progress,” said Zikalala on Sunday.

With a national State of Disaster having been declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa following the floods, KZN is in a position to access funds that will enable the rebuilding process to be undertaken.

Part of this process involves the construction of Residential Temporary Units in Ilembe District, Ugu and eThekwini, with the aim of accommodating more than 4 396 displaced families that are being accommodated in halls, churches and schools.

One of the government’s challenges is the supply of clean water as most infrastructure was damaged in eThekwini, prompting the need to provide potable water through the use of water tankers to the affected areas.

There are also concerns that owing to the damage of the infrastructure, there is a risk of sewage spillages, which could give rise to water-borne diseases. The government has, however, given an assurance that it is working around the clock to deal with the challenge.

The premier also announced that owing to the floods, the provincial government would not host any Freedom Day celebrations.

THE MERCURY

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