LOOK: Ladysmith flooded again, mayor says sewage challenges to be resolved by March



Published Feb 17, 2023


Video by Sihle Mavuso

Ladysmith - The northern KwaZulu-Natal industrial town of Ladysmith has once again been flooded after torrential rain hit parts of the north of the province in the past few days.

Due to the flooding, the old town centre near the usually busy taxi rank is now submerged in water and the nearby Spar supermarket and other shops have been temporarily closed.

According to business owners on the side of the town, the floods started in the early hours of Friday when the Klipriver, which passes through the town before joining the uThukela river, burst its banks.

When it burst, the bypass road on your way to join the N11 to Newcastle was closed and pedestrians were told to stop using it.

There were no fatalities reported by 2pm when this report was compiled.

IOL spoke to the mayor of the Alfred Duma Local Municipality, Zama Sibisi, to ask him about the flooding.

Sibisi said it was not as severe as it was in the past when the entire town flooded and could not be accessed for days.

Sibisi said the flooding was caused by three missing sewer valves which they have since procured to prevent future incidents.

“I am glad you touched on that issue because our detractors are saying we are failing, yet we are not.

“We can assure you that we are not failing and we will never fail. The thing here is, what caused the flooding is the issue of the valves.

“We have 11 valves that take water from the town to the river. All those valves were damaged and some of them were not even there.

“We budgeted for that, we budgeted R15 million to attend to the issue of flooding, but we could only get eight valves.

“Those valves have been fitted and that’s why you can see that flooding is not severe like the previous year.

“We are waiting for the other valves… once we have received them in March… once we fit that three that are not fitted at the moment, the issue of flooding will be history, total history,” said Sibisi.

As a result of the flooding, the taxi rank has been temporarily moved to Queen Street, opposite the town hall. This was amid fears that should the torrential rains persist, the entire town will be flooded as happened in March last year.

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