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Rehab work continues on Newlands Drive

Newlands Drive was adversely affected by the recent flash floods, resulting in road and sewerage infrastructure damage.

WARD 35 councillor Nicole Bollman has assured residents that all measures are being taken to repair Newlands Drive which was damaged recently by flash floods and heavy rains.

Severe thunderstorms accompanied by flash floods have left a trail of destruction in areas across north Durban with road collapses, flooding and sinkholes reported across the ward.

While there were no fatalities in the area, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has confirmed that nine people have been killed within the eThekwini Metro.

According to Bollman, approximately 100mm of rain fell in the space of one and a half hours.

Also read: UKZN’s professor calls for re-evaluation of urban planning following flash floods

Last week, the City detailed a report providing the cost implications following heavy rainfall in eThekwini, from January 13 to 16, saying the extensive infrastructure damage amounted to R1.4 billion.

Much of the surface of Newlands Drive was washed away by the floods, while the sewerage pipe was flooded with sand, resulting in a sewage overflow.

The electricity network was also adversely affected by the heavy rains.

“Newlands Drive is currently passable as workers have compacted the damaged surfaces and removed the damaged asphalt. I’m aware that the eThekwini Municipality has got a contractor in place to remove the sand from the sewerage pipe which is flowing into the stormwater system. The workers have also moved several loads of sand, and the road will be resurfaced,” she said.

Last week, city manager Musa Mbhele tabled a report at an Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting on the overview of damages, the estimated rehabilitation costs, response measures and inter-departmental interventions.

Mbhele said the primary cause of the damages was identified as mudslide hazards, exacerbated by continuous rainfall over a three-day period.

Also read: uMhlanga and surrounding areas hit hard by flash flood

“eThekwini has, over the past few years, experienced extensive damage to infrastructure and facilities, compounding costs and delaying repairs of existing damage. The report outlined details of the 341 dwellings that were reported damaged, affecting 1 413 individuals. Tragically, nine fatalities were reported, and burial assistance is being coordinated in accordance with the City’s burial assistance application through the Office of the Mayor.

“The estimated R1.4 billion cost covers various sectors, including Human Settlements, Engineering, Water and Sanitation, Parks, Recreation and Culture, and the Health Unit. Ongoing projects funded by the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (R&R) Grant suffered additional damage, leading to a request for a three-month extension for all disaster-funded projects,” he said.


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