Snow business means no business as KZN loses R400 mln

2011-07-29 00:00

THE closure of the N3 for almost 40 hours in heavy snow this week cost the KwaZulu-Natal economy more than R400 million.

Lennox Mabaso, spokesperson for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the provincial department that manages disasters and emergency situations, said this estimate does not include other losses as a result of the weather.

He said about 3 000 trucks use the route every day, moving about R10 million worth of goods every hour. The road was closed for 40 hours, leading to the estimate of R400 million lost.

“According to the chambers of business in the affected areas there were 150 trucks per kilometre when the road re-opened [on Wednesday afternoon] and there was a backlog 22 km long.”

He said nine houses were completely destroyed during the cold, wet spell affecting 30 people in three municipalities in uMgungundlovu District.

In the Ilembe area 20 houses were completely destroyed and 144 were damaged. More than 500 people were affected, but no fatalities were reported.

Assessments are still under way in other municipalities in the district, which makes it difficult for the department to estimate the extent of the damage, Mabaso said.

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