DURBAN, April 26 – An interim report based on a provisional assessment done by the eThekwini Municipality has estimated the cost of damage and associated relief efforts from Monday’s severe storm to stand at R658 million.
According to the municipality, the report outlined the impact of the storm, interventions to assist displaced residents and the estimated cost of repairs to damaged infrastructure.
The report was tabled at a special executive committee sitting on Friday.
“The report estimates the costs, based on interim assessments done by various municipal department, being around R658 million,” said the city in a statement.
It was also recommended that a local state of disaster be declared due to the extent of the damages.
The storm tore through mostly southern coastal parts of the province on Monday night and continued into Tuesday morning.
On Thursday, it was confirmed that 67 people had died, mostly as a result of hard, excessive rain that led to mudslides and homes collapsing.
The province fielded in excess of 2000 storm-related emergency calls on Monday night, and cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said up to 300mm of rain was experienced in some areas.
President Cyril Ramaphosa cut-short a trip to the African Union and traveled to KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday to survey the damage.
Ramaphosa met with and offered his condolences to some of the displaced and grieving and said that national treasury would be making emergency funding available to the province.
The municipality has supplied emergency shelter for the displaced, which includes opening up 11 community halls. It has also been providing food packages and feeding schemes for the needy, amongst other interventions.
“With regards to the infrastructural rehabilitation, the funds will be sourced from insurance which the city will claim for,” said eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.
Some money would also be sourced from internal reserves and a report would also be sent to provincial and national governments requesting funding.
A breakdown of infrastructural damage found that 33 wards were affected. Damage included culverts, stormwater pipes, road closures and others. The projected cost for these repairs was R248,000,000.
Repairs to RDP houses, transit camp units, informal settlements, retaining walls and hostel blocks and R293 houses would cost about R327,919,000.
Some libraries and art galleries were also affected, as was their equipment. The cost of these repairs was not yet available.
Costs to repair 11 substations and the HV network was estimated at R19,530,000.
About R3 million would be needed to repair clinic roofs and flooded consultation rooms in a number of areas. (ANA)