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KZN Residents blame 'poor service delivery' for flooded stormwater drains

A landslide caused by heavy rains engulfs an informal dwelling in Umlazi. Picture: Supplied

A landslide occurred, engulfing an informal dwelling in Umlazi. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 12, 2022

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Durban - Clean up efforts are underway in KwaZulu-Natal following days of torrential rains. So far, at least 20 lives have been lost while scores of people are believed to be missing.

Residents have laid the blame of flooded roads and overflowing stormwater drains squarely at the feet of government.

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Many have taken to social media accusing the eThekwini Municipality of failing to clean and service drains on time.

"The flooding would not have been so severe if there is constant maintenance of the storm water system....you failed. Get a new competent crew in Water and Sanitation," said Sunitha Seethal.

Picture: Facebook

"Prioritize repairing and replacing infrastructure before we have another catastrophic disaster in this city. Nothing is more important," said Pragashni Chetty.

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Picture: Facebook

However, according to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson in KZN, Nonala Ndlovu, even though there may be issues related to the drainage system because of the litter culture in communities, the amount of water that was coming through was massive.

"It's been a very heavy downpour. It has just been pouring for the past four days now," she said in an interview with eNCA.

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She said several Disaster Management teams had been dispatched across the city and province to help stranded families.

At a media briefing on Tuesday afternoon, eThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, urged people to refrain from littering and building illegal structures, which he said put pressure on infrastructure.

He urged people not to build on steep hills as these structures were often destroyed when the hills collapse.

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Kaunda said the city had several clean up projects in the works to help with cleaning stormwater drains.

"Through Operation Good Hope, we plan to work on unlocking stormwater drains. We have deployed multi-disciplinary teams including teams from Cogta and other law enforcement agencies to reinforce the clean-up teams," he said.

"Most of the city’s power station have been flooded and our teams were unable to access them last night, but our teams started working on these facilities in the early hours of this morning. We would like to urge our communities to bear with us while we are working to restore electricity supply. We want to assure the residents that we are attending to this," Kaunda said.

He said following a number of reports that were logged at the city's call centres the entire system was overwhelmed, and it became very difficult for many of residents to get through.

Kaunda said this resulted in officials being unable to respond to all queries.

"It would then be remiss of me not to sincerely apologise to all those who were in need of our assistance to be unable to reach us," he said.

Important numbers to know:

Ugu District - 039 682 2414

uMgungundlovu District - 033 343 1719

uThukela District - 086 010 4257

uMzinyathi District - 034 212 2222

Amajuba District - 034 329 7200

Zululand District - 035 874 5500/081 433 7771

uMkhanyakude District - 080 011 7770/035 573 1647

King Cetshwayo District – 0800 111 258/035 799 1105

Ilembe District - 032 437 9379/1

Harry Gwala District - 039 834 0070

IOL

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