eThekwini Municipality needs R167m to rebuild after tornado

The storm accompanied by strong winds left a trail of destruction in oThongathi, north of Durban.

The storm accompanied by strong winds left a trail of destruction in oThongathi, north of Durban.

Published Jun 12, 2024


eThekwini Municipality has made an application for an amount of R167 million to help with rebuilding efforts following the storms that lashed parts of the city last week.

This was revealed in a report presented at the City’s executive committee meeting on Tuesday.

The municipality announced it has made a formal application to the national government to have oThongathi and other affected areas declared a disaster area. OThongathi, north of Durban, was the worst affected area with hundreds of homes destroyed and thousands of people displaced.

Eight lives were lost and 99 people were injured during the heavy storm.

Vincent Ngubane, eThekwini disaster management head, said nine areas in eThekwini were affected by the tornado.

“The area of Magwaveni and surrounding areas in oThongathi had more than 12 000 people affected by the tornado and over 3 100 homes completely damaged. The area of Seatides also had 82 homes that were completely destroyed.”

Ngubane said an application of R167m has already been submitted to the National Department of Human Settlements. “The City has assigned a contractor to urgently repair eight roofs for families that lost their family members. The contractor is currently on site busy with repairs,” he said.

Ngubane said they have sent a recommendation to both the national and provincial department to declare it a disaster area.

“Teams deployed to the areas that are affected will continue with assessment and relief measures.”

There was widespread damage to electrical infrastructure in Greylands and Sanfields suburbs.

“The damage to infrastructure includes mini subs, transformers, gum poles and cables. The damage to electrical infrastructure in Burbreeze, Sandfields, Jan Roz and Fairbreeze is estimated at R6.5m. The damage to the Greylands area is estimated at R7.6m. We have restored electricity to some areas in oThongathi which amounted to R6m. The estimated total to restore power to affected areas is R40m.”

Ngubane said water was also affected, but they have managed to restore water supply to most of the affected areas.

“We have deployed water tankers to assist members of the public. A total of three water tankers received from KZN COGTA have been deployed as follows: one is servicing part of Ward 58 (Magwaveni area and Community Hall), two are servicing part of Ward 62 (Newtown Hall) and one is roving the area and servicing the temporary shelters.”

Ngubane said they have attended to 313 trees that have fallen and caused damage in eThekwini.

“The trees blocked roads and fell on houses. We have cleared most of the trees, which means they have been crosscut and removed from the road, tree cuttings still to be loaded.

“Only one road is damaged in Maclean Street Umkomaas, the road has already been barricaded to ensure safety (only one lane opened). Repairs commenced on Friday. Three roads affected in the West with the cost of repairs estimated at R1m.

“Only one road was damaged in the south central region. This road was damaged in the April 2022 floods and further damaged by the current storm. The cost estimate for this road is R1m.”

Ngubane said Magwaveni Sports Field is being used as the coordination point (Operational Centre).

“Marquees are installed, with tables and chairs.Tongaat Sports Centre has been opened as a storage facility. The centre has been opened to receive donations of non-perishable goods. It is a secure facility and will be secured with four security guards each on day and night shifts.”

Ngubane added that donations have been received from various social partners, organisations, NGOs, faith-based organisations, government departments, political parties and individuals.

“These include hot meals, blankets, comforters, mattresses, bread, bread rolls, water, food hampers, rice, maize, cold drinks, tea, juice, KFC, fruit, clothes, shoes, bath soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary packs. We extend our gratitude to the Red Cross, Al-Imdaad, Gift and Givers, Human Aid SA and everyone who has contributed.”

The Mercury