uMngeni Municipality will be redirecting funds from other programmes to respond to the heavy rain and hail that damaged infrastructure and homes on Thursday afternoon.
The damage to infrastructure could run up to an estimated R25 million, according to uMngeni mayor, Chris Pappas.
He said some areas of the municipality have been badly affected by the large amounts of rain, which measured in excess of 120 mm in some areas.
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The municipality’s political and administrative leadership met yesterday morning to implement a response from the side of the municipality.
Funding will be redirected from other plans to respond to stormwater and roads related damage. Resources will be allocated towards mop-up and clean-up operations. I will write to the provincial treasury, provincial Department for Local Government and to the uMgungundlovu District Municipality to request financial assistance to respond to infrastructure damage.
He said councillors will submit to the officials any damages in their wards.
Risk areas and weaknesses will be identified and interventions put in place for future storms. Our disaster subdirectory will respond to emergency cases where humanitarian relief is required. The electricity unit has already restored most areas that were affected by power outages.
“In December 2021, we suffered R272 million in storm damage. The uMngeni Municipality did not receive any assistance, despite billions supposedly being allocated for disaster response. The municipality only has limited resources to respond and will strategically implement response plans.”
River flowing over Wapenaar Road in Merrivale
On social media, Merrivale resident, Neville Cusens, praised the community spirit of residents who rallied to help in the aftermath of the storm.
It’s great to know that neighbours are always there to offer help. People offered to help flood victims, accommodation was offered, teams came together to remove fallen trees from roads and even a chameleon was saved from a fallen tree and relocated.
Well done Merrivale, great community spirit.
Pooven Govender was driving from Johannesburg to his Umzinto home yesterday and decided to drive by Howick Falls.
The rain has made Howick Falls come alive. Umngeni Municipality and KZN Tourism should preserve Howick Falls for the next generation to see how amazing nature is.
Umgungundlovu mayor, Mzi Zuma, said they were waiting for a full report that will detail the extent of the damage caused by the storm.
He said action will be taken according to the service areas affected by the rain.
We will look into the report and see what intervention is needed and which provincial departments need to be engaged. If roads are damaged then the Transport Department will be engaged and if houses are damaged then Human Settlements will be engaged. It all depends on which services are affected and the relevant departments will be engaged for assistance.
Ward 8 ANC councillor, Zine Dlamini, said at least five houses were flattened by the storm. She said “a number of roads” have been badly damaged.
Some areas are not accessible, hence I could not get to all the destroyed houses at the same time. My ward is vast, it is urban and rural. Ward committees are still on the ground assessing the damage, so the number of destroyed homes so far is five. I’m preparing to go to the remainder of the reported houses while more information is still being gathered.