KZN flood relief funds: 'No one will be allowed to feast on the suffering of our people' - Zikalala

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  • Billions of rands will be needed to recover and rebuild after the KZN floods.
  • Sihle Zikalala said the provincial government would be proactive to stop corruption during the recovery process. 
  • He said the preliminary estimated cost of road infrastructure damage stood at R5.6 billion.

Following the devastating floods, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the provincial government would be proactive in preventing any corruption as resources were made available to rebuild and recover.

The floods claimed more than 400 lives and destroyed thousands of homes and infrastructure.

During a media briefing on Sunday afternoon, Zikalala took the opportunity to allay fears around the possible looting of funds.

"We want to say, without any equivocation, that all the resources allocated for flood relief and the recovery and rebuilding process will be utilised in line with fiscal rectitude, accountability, transparency and openness," Zikalala said.

"We want to emphasise the fact that, having learnt the lessons of Covid-19, no amount of corruption, maladministration and fraud will be tolerated or associated with this province.

"We want to assure our communities that all the funds will be used prudentially and that no one will be allowed to feast on the suffering of our people in order to line their pockets."

READ | KZN floods: In numbers - 443 dead, 63 missing, more than 13 000 households affected

The premier added that work of quality and value for money would be done as the province recovered from the floods.

Zikalala said that, once the damage had been assessed, a pre-audit would be done by the provincial Treasury, presumably to eliminate the possibility of wasteful expenditure and corruption. Monitoring institutions would also be in place, including the Auditor General.

"We will act decisively, without fear, favour or prejudice, on anyone taking advantage of the resources meant to assist the needy communities."

Sihle Zikalala
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala.

Cost of the damage 

While the full extent of the damage has not yet been determined, Zikalala said "billions will be required to rebuild the province from this catastrophe".

"At this point, we are still surveying all the damage and quantifying. We want to be scientific and not alarmists about it, and to ensure that we have covered all sectors affected."

Zikalala was, however, able to reveal the preliminary estimated cost of road infrastructure damage as R5.6 billion - and that it included 1 369 infrastructure projects across the coastal province.

He said roads, bridges and other essential infrastructure were damaged or completely washed away.

READ | KZN Floods: Pietermaritzburg search and rescue police officer dies while on duty

"Coastal areas, such as eThekwini, iLembe, uGu and King Cetshwayo, were the most affected district municipalities."

Zikalala was also able to give a breakdown of the number of households affected by the flooding.

He said 13 556 had been affected, with 8 329 houses partially damaged and 3 937 homes completely destroyed.

The premier said the Department of Human Settlements had made R1 billion available to assist.  

As of Sunday, the death toll stood at 443, with 63 people still missing. 

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