KZN

News ยป KZN

Chris Ndaliso
Senior journalist
4 minute read
20 May 2022
06:00

Over 800 companies in three KZN districts affected by flood damage

Chris Ndaliso

Over 800 companies in KwaZulu-Natal have suffered damages worth about R7 billion during the recent floods, Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Thursday.

Over 800 companies in KwaZulu-Natal have suffered damages worth about R7 billion during the recent floods, Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Thursday.

Zikalala said the three top districts that were the hardest hit by the floods were eThekwini Municipality with 239 companies, iLembe with 87 companies while Ugu District had 54 companies affected by the disaster.

The briefing followed an ordinary sitting of the KwaZulu-Natal executive council which was held on Wednesday.

“These floods have impacted 31 220 jobs with eThekwini accounting for 68% of the jobs impacted.

“The floods have unleashed havoc in our province and left an unthinkable path of destruction.

“Current indications are that the floods have affected a total of 85 280 people.

“A total of 448 fatalities are in terms of the final report confirmed to be the baseline official figure confirming the deceased. A total of 88 people are still missing with 6 895 being homeless and 50 injured.

“The cost of the flood damage to public infrastructure is officially estimated at R25 billion with losses mainly in roads, rail and bridges, housing, water, sanitation, electricity, agriculture and manufacturing. We still have the water service system still out of operation in areas like Tongaat as they were seriously compromised by the floods,“We are advised that if KwaZulu-Natal receives an additional 20 mm of rain, there is a potential for flooding as the ground may still be saturated following the recent heavy rains. said Zikalala.

He said the operations at the Port of Durban were being improved but are being affected by the rest of the network in the province.

“We are advised that if KwaZulu-Natal receives an additional 20 mm of rain, there is a potential for flooding as the ground may still be saturated following the recent heavy rains.“
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala

Unfortunately, rail in the port area is damaged and will be back in operation in July 2022, he said.

The situation has prompted the executive committee to approve the application to National Treasury for the release of R1 billion funding for immediate needs while awaiting the appropriation of the rest of the disaster funds.

Zikalala said this was to cover the shelter support, human settlement interventions, water and sanitation interventions, roads and relief.

“The initial application has been submitted to national government to assess the first tranche of funding.

“As this happens work to restore services has continued by various institutions from their baseline budgets.

“The situation has improved, and is better than on that fateful day of April 11 because of the work led by government,” he said.

He warned of a severe weather update from the South African Weather Services for the coming weekend.

“We are advised that if KwaZulu-Natal receives an additional 20 mm of rain, there is a potential for flooding as the ground may still be saturated following the recent heavy rains.

“ActionSA cannot rely on unverified figures and will therefore revisit community halls that are currently housing displaced people around the province to ascertain living conditions and to assess if relief aid is reaching them adequately.”
ActionSA provincial chairperson Musa Kubheka

“We have been advised to expect snowfalls and freezing temperatures.

“We urge our fellow citizens to be aware especially those who may be in flood-prone areas,” he said.

As part of the measures to turn around the situation, he said there will be ongoing water restrictions in all municipalities in varying quantities.

The areas most impacted by the poor river quality include Amanzimnyama, Umbilo, Umkhumbane, Umgeni, Mlaas, Umhlathuzane, Isipingo, and Toti,” he said.

In excess of 100 power installations were severely affected by the floods in eThekwini. “There is substantial progress in restoring water supply in areas where infrastructure was severely damaged, he said.

“In eThekwini the water supply has improved by 75-80% in most areas.

“It will take a few months to repair the Tongaat water treatment plant at a cost of about R30 million,” said Zikalala.

ALSO READ | Expert team mobilised to help repair KZN’s damaged critical infrastructure

ActionSA provincial chairperson Musa Kubheka said about 40 000 South Africans remain displaced across KZN following the devastating floods that hit the province in April.

“The province and its people are taking tremendous strain as the R1 billion relief aid promised by President Cyril Ramaphosa has not been released. There is no clear indication as to when these funds will be made available much to the detriment of those who remain affected.

“ActionSA cannot rely on unverified figures and will therefore revisit community halls that are currently housing displaced people around the province to ascertain living conditions and to assess if relief aid is reaching them adequately,” said Kubheka.

He said the resettlement process of the displaced required timelines as this is in line with the restoration of dignity to those who have been affected by the disaster and have no means to self-sustain.