An interim report tabling the cost of damage to various parts of KwaZulu-Natal  following last week’s floods, has revealed that an estimated R 658 million will be needed to repair damaged  infrastructure.

EThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede said the floods have inflicted untold damage on both public and private infrastructure.

“We have sent out teams to commence with the quantification of damages. This includes visits to households and all sites that have been affected.”

The death toll from the devastating floods which swept through parts of KZN on 22 and 23 April has been confirmed at 70.  Thousands were left displaced, as homes and roads were destroyed in the heavy rains.

The municipality held a special executive committee meeting on Friday, last week to give a breakdown of the damages to municipal infrastructure.

What has been damaged?

Based on the interim assessments, for damages to storm water pipes, pond collapsed, washed away walls, culvert repairs and road closure, at least R248 400 000 is needed.

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

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.

Electricity related costs were placed at R19 530 000, with repairs to 11 substations to be undertaken, as well as repairs to the HV Network.

Twelve facilities belonging to the parks and recreations unit were affected as well, with libraries and an art gallery flooded. This resulted in damage to equipment.

The report also recommended that based on the extent of the damages to the municipality, be declared a local state of disaster.

Municipality to claim from insurance and tap into treasury

The city has committed to source the funds needed for repairing infrastructure through claiming from its insurance.

In addition, it would also source funds from its internal reserves.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Dr Zweli Mkhize said the extent of the damage in certain areas requires the expertise of engineers and others who are qualified to guide repair process.

“Many roads, bridges, settlements were negatively affected. The devastation is visible and untold pain has been inflicted upon the people and as government we are doing everything possible to assist.”