ASPECIAL Executive Committee meeting was held on 14 April to assess the progress made regarding interventions to assist communities affected by the widespread flooding. Our aim is to restore services to the public and provide much-needed relief to bereaved families.
The flooding we witnessed in eThekwini over the past few days is by far the worst that we have seen in recent years. The damage to infrastructure has been extensive. Our teams remain hard at work to restore services in affected communities. We are working closely with ward councillors to ensure that interventions reach all affected families.
We have established 17 shelters accommodating 2 138 displaced residents at community halls where they are receiving the necessary assistance. The financial impact of these floods is estimated at R757 million. Currently, 60 percent of the areas in eThekwini are accessible by public transport. Areas like Molweni are still inaccessible. Engineers are on the ground to clear and repair some of the routes including Bayhead, which is a key economic zone for the country and continent.
The interruption to water supply has been a major issue. We receive 95 percent of our water from uMgeni Water. Of serious concern is the damage to two of the four of uMgeni Water’s Nagle Aqueducts are damaged. These are the aqueducts that supply water to uMgeni Water’s biggest water treatment works, Durban Heights. This waterworks normally supplies about 540 Ml per day to the City. Currently, this capacity has been reduced to about 350 Ml per day. As a result, several areas have already run out of water.
In the interim, we will be deploying more water tankers and are procuring a package plant that will be able to supply water. Power has been restored to most parts of the City. Delays in restoring power in other areas has been caused by damage to road infrastructure. Technicians are working in three shifts to ensure that power is restored as soon as possible. R28 million in damage has been caused at our depots and landfill sites. We urge residents to follow our updates about the resumption of waste collection. Several areas of the economy have been affected. Manufacturing and tourism are among the sectors that have been severely affected by this disaster.
The number of visitors over the easter weekend is expected to drop because some areas have no water and electricity. This is going to affect jobs in the hospitality sector. We also condemn the incidents of looting in areas such as uMlazi. We commend the police for apprehending some of the suspects who were involved in this criminality. We want to assure you that we are working hard to rebuild the City.