The flooding in KwaZulu-Natal is just the start of many more extreme weather events to come, and the rebuilding of infrastructure needs to be resilient to such climate risks, say climate scientists.
The level of rainfall was consistent with that of tropical cyclones, and one climate scientist said the quantity was consistent with a one in 50-year event. The flooding claimed over 300 lives and has wreaked further damage to major infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water and ports, compromising the delivery of essential services.
In a 2021 paper, Climate Change Implications for SA's Youth, environmental futurist Professor Nicholas King, warns that extreme weather events will continuously damage public infrastructures such as roads, water and sanitation, health, education and electricity services. Repairing and replacing this infrastructure will become more costly.