Estimated flood damage R757m, says eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda


That’s according to eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, who said manufacturing and tourism were among the sectors devastated.

In a statement on Thursday ahead of the Easter weekend, Kaunda said the number of visitors is expected to drop “because there are areas that have no water and electricity. This is going to affect jobs in the hospitality sector.”

He said while the city was working on restoring electricity and water to residents, infrastructure had been damaged. 

“We receive 95% of our water from Umgeni Water. Of serious concern is the damage to two, out of four, of Umgeni Water’s Nagle aqueducts.”

This resulted in a reduction of water supply to the city, and a number of areas running dry.

“Tongaat Waterworks, which supplies the whole of Tongaat, suffered serious damage that will take months to repair. In the interim, we will be deploying more water tankers and are procuring a package plant that will be able to supply water.”

He said electricity was restored to most parts of the city but three substations —  Wentworth, Toyota and Prospecton — were not functional.

“The president will convene the cabinet to decide on declaring a state of disaster so we can start receiving relief funds,” said Kaunda.

He said the city suffered an estimated R28m damage to waste depots and landfill sites and urged residents to be patient regarding the resumption of waste collection.

Kaunda condemned reported looting in areas such as Umlazi and commended police for arresting suspects. “We want to assure you that we are working hard to rebuild the city from this disaster.”

Kaunda said the city had provided 17 shelters accommodating 2,138 displaced people at community halls, where they are receiving hot meals, blankets and mattresses. 

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