Durban floods damage estimated at over R650m

An interim report tabled at eThekwini Metro following flooding in Durban this week has estimated the cost of repair to tip over R650m.

The municipality held a special executive committee (Exco) meeting on Friday at the city's Disaster Management Centre.

Based on interim assessments, the report estimates that interventions to assist displaced residents and estimated cost of repairs to damaged infrastructure would be around R658m.

Mayor Zandile Gumede said teams had commenced the "quantification of damages".

"This includes visits to households and all sites that have been affected. We will further communicate on this once the quantification process has been concluded. We have given the teams a short turnaround time."

READ: KZN floods: Movement of ships in Durban harbour limited by mass debris pile-up

She said there was also social relief interventions including food packages and feeding schemes.

"We continue to offer counselling services to grieving families. We are also finalising funeral support arrangements to ensure decent burials of the deceased. A task team has been appointed to coordinate all the support including the burials."

The report said that the projected cost of repairs for damages such as stormwater pipes, washed away walls and culvert repairs at R248 400 000.

Repairs related to human settlements needs was at a whopping R327 919 000 and included repairs to RDP houses, transit camp units, informal settlements, retaining walls and hostel blocks.

Electricity related costs were at R19 530 000 with repairs to 11 substations to be undertaken.

The city's health unit estimates costs to be R3m with the roofs of clinics in a number of areas damaged as well as consultation rooms flooded.

Twelve facilities of the parks and recreations unit were affected with libraries and an art gallery flooded resulted in equipment damage. The report also recommended that based on the extent of the damages to the municipality, a local state of disaster should be declared.

Municipality to claim insurance, tap into treasury

The city resolved to source infrastructural rehabilitation funds from claiming from its insurance. It would also source funds from its internal reserves.

Exco also called on treasury to identify emergency funding for relief and rehabilitation.

Gumede said they provided temporary shelters to house displaced families in 11 community halls. 

"While the storm has left a trail of destruction, we are working around the clock to alleviate the impact of this disaster on our communities and to bring the lives of those affected back to normality as mop-up operations continue."

The south and western regions in eThekwini were the worst affected, with Tshelimnyama, in Marianhill recording 15 fatalities. President Cyril Ramaphosa together with senior government officials visited the area earlier this week. 

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