Durban's city fathers count the cost of devastating storm

23 October 2017 - 18:27 By Timeslive
Flooded streets in Durban on 10 October 2017.
Flooded streets in Durban on 10 October 2017.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Thirteen confirmed deaths and more than half a billion rand in damages.

That's the devastating loss following the supercell storm that lashed KwaZulu-Natal on October 10‚ according to a report tabled at an eThekwini municipality executive committee meeting in Durban on Monday.

According to the report‚ engineering-related repairs will cost R308-million‚ Human Settlements requires R250-million‚ Disaster Management and Emergency Control R4.1-million‚ Parks and Recreations R7.7-million‚ Cleansing and Solid Waste R1.3-million‚ Electricity R2.6-million and Water and Sanitation R2.3-million.

The report also asked that the Executive Committee declare a local state of disaster within the Municipality.

According to the report‚ the Disaster Management Team has received a number of calls from various wards to conduct physical assessments of the damages and to provide the necessary temporary disaster relief measures and that the assessment process is still ongoing.

A total of 60 wards were affected with 3‚112 households impacted - the majority of which‚ 2‚425 households‚ were in the south of the city.

Infrastructure in the Parks‚ Leisure and Cemeteries Department that was damaged includes 20 libraries‚ 23 pools‚ 21 halls‚ three parks‚ one heritage site‚ three museums and four sports facilities.

Regarding Human Settlements damage‚ the report stated that the initial assessment of houses indicated that 954 informal dwellings‚ 1‚770 Breaking New Ground units‚ 557 retaining walls‚ 418 temporary facilities and 489 roofs were damaged.

Authority was granted to the Human Settlements Unit to rehabilitate and construct damage low cost housing‚ community residential units and informal settlements as an emergency‚ subject to funding being made available by the KZN Provincial Department of Human Settlements.

Acting Deputy City Manager of Community and Emergency Services Martin Xaba said it was crucial for various departments to start the rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure.

“The approval of the report also allows the Finance Department to find savings to ensure rehabilitation of infrastructure goes ahead‚” he said.

The executive committee also approved a decision allowing Head of Disaster Management and Emergency Control Vincent Ngubane along with two councillors to attend the 3rd World Congress on Disaster Management.

The Congress will be held at Vishakhaptanam‚ Andra Pradesh‚ India next month.

Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer‚ chairperson of the Security and Emergency Service Committee‚ said it would be beneficial for officials to attend the conference and learn how to better manage disasters in light of the recent disaster experienced in the city.