KZN plans to rebuild homes

2011-01-27 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal government revealed yesterday that flood damage in the province amounted to about R715 816 400 following the heavy rains that have left families displaced and claimed 88 lives while leaving 147 people seriously injured around the province in recent weeks.

Addressing the media yesterday, Premier Zweli Mkhize said the provincial cabinet has resolved to declare Uthukela, Sisonke, Amajuba, Ilembe and eThekwini as disaster areas.

Mkhize said government was saddened by the loss of lives and the more than 22 000 people who have been left in distress with 6 271 households being destroyed.

AgriSA estimates the flooding damage to crops and farm infrastructure at some R2 billion across the country.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said national government will replace or rebuild broken infrastructure and equipment.

Mkhize said the the province met with its counterparts in national government and would visit the affected areas in the uThukela area. “The Minister for Human Settlement Tokyo Sexwale will be present and we will engage one another on the way forward to the re-building of the destroyed houses,” said Mkhize.

He said there are no available funds to repair flood damage at this stage, but after meeting with all the other stakeholders, and assessing damage according to which department is liable, a report will be submitted to the government for funds.

Both Mkhize and Sexwale will be in Ladysmith today to visit some of the affected areas.

Most parts of the province are still experiencing showers and a property owner in Tugela Ferry said the level of the water in the Tugela River during the recent floods was extremely high.

Rauri Alcock said the last time the river was that high was in 1996.

“Once the river gets that high travelling is affected and pedestrians suffer as they have to cross the river on a ferry boat as the bridge gets submerged under water,” said Alcock.

Ladysmith Mayor Dudu Mazibuko, said mud homes in the area continue to collapse.

“The minister and premier’s visit brings hope to the people of Ladysmith. Just today [yesterday] I’ve been informed about a house that collapsed in Colenso.

“The quick response from government is appreciated as the matter needs urgent attention,” he said.

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