ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
23 October 2017
 
Executive Committee Decisions
 
UPDATE ON CITY INTERVENTIONS TO REPAIR INFRASTRUCTURE DAMAGED DURING THE STORM
 
The Executive Committee approved a report at a meeting held today, 23 October outlining the ongoing assessments following a storm experienced in the City on 10 October, as well as the cost across the departments to repair the damaged infrastructure.
 
The report stated that the estimated cost to repair infrastructure damaged during the storm is over R576 million.
 
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 requested that the Executive Committee declare a local state of disaster within the Municipality.
 
Providing background, the report stated that 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. Due to the volume of incidents reported and limited staff capacity, priority will be given to households with major impact.
 
It further stated that the reporting of incidents from councillors and the community is ongoing with more incidents being reported, hence the assessment process continuing.
 
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.
 
The report also listed the casualties as a result of the storm of which there were 13 confirmed fatalities. The report noted that burial assistance has been given to all the families through the Office of the Mayor including a mass memorial service held for the victims at City Hall on 19 October.
 
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.
 
The type of damage includes trees falling on the infrastructure, flooding and the roofs blowing away.
 
Regarding roads and storm water, there were 1 081 faults received including landslides, damaged roads, potholes, missing manhole covers as well as the road washing away and closures.
 
The Architecture Unit together with Coastal and Storm Catchment consolidated a list of all affected Council infrastructure to a total of R308 106 350.
 
Regarding Human Settlements damage, the report stated that the initial assessment of houses in the following areas were 954 informal dwellings, 1 770 Breaking New Ground units, 557 retaining walls, 418 temporary facilities and 489 damaged roofs.
 
The estimated cost to repair the damaged infrastructure is over R250 million.
 
The report stated that it was important to note that the assessment process has not concluded and departments will report to the City Manager, Sipho Nzuza and the Executive Committee once the assessment process is concluded.
 
The approval of the report grants authority to various units to start planning and rehabilitating infrastructure on a short and long term basis.
 
It also authorises the Disaster Management and Emergency Control Unit to conduct an evaluation of all flood prone areas within the City as an emergency and update the Disaster Management Plan accordingly as well as authorising the Engineering Unit to assess the road infrastructure and drainage systems capacity taking into consideration the roads affected by the flash floods.
 
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.
 
DELEGATION TO ATTEND 3RD WORLD CONGRESS ON DISASTER MANAGEMENT
 
The Executive Committee today, 23 October approved the report of the Security and Emergency Services Committee allowing for the 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 from 6 to 10 November. The cost will include registration, local transport costs, accommodation and meals for the duration of the event as well as a conference kit and a participation certificate.
 
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.
 
The report was welcomed by the Executive Committee.
 
CITYWIDE CLEAN UP FOLLOWING DEVASTATING STORMS A SUCCESS
 
Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer, acting as chairperson at the Executive Committee meeting today, 23 October, reported that the City wide clean up held on 17 October in wards worst affected by the storms was a success.
 
Speaking at the start of the Executive Committee meeting, Councillor Peer said it was remarkable to see the buy in from all stakeholders.
 
“We converged in Isiphingo before being assigned to different wards. It was remarkable to see officials, councillors and the community who turned up in their numbers. Further assessments were done by officials in the affected wards. I was in ward 64 where we had a fantastic session and more than 1 000 community members received food parcels donated by the provincial SASSA. Other things such as mattresses were also given out,” said Councillor Peer.
 
She said a number of trees that were uprooted during the storm were still lying around in ward 64.
“I have tasked the relevant department to remove them. Sometimes in disasters of this magnitude we all have to play a role. I have to thank non-governmental organisations, community members and business people for coming on board to assist. It was fantastic to see.”
 
She added that City officials have also visited grieving families who have lost loved ones. Councillor Peer said that senior leadership in the City including herself, Mayor Zandile Gumede and Executive Committee members met with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to discuss the storm related damage to the province as a whole and how funds will be allocated.
 
SECURITY UPGRADED AT CITY HALL
 
The Executive Committee approved the Governance and Human Resources Committee Report today, 23 October which provided an update on security measures being undertaken at City Hall.
 
The report stated that the Committee was advised on the limited security controls and challenges experienced with access control and security management. This necessitated the improvement of security at City Hall. The procurement and installation of security equipment was approved in November 2016.
 
However, as a result of delays the security equipment was delivered in July and August 2017.
 
The report states that a further R2.5 million is required to complete the project. This includes R2.15 million for four metal detectors/bag scanners, R150 000 for bagger scanners and accessories and R200 000 for four security sliding doors.
 
Barbara Fortein, chairperson of the Governance and Human Resources Committee said an in-depth presentation was done for the Executive Committee before the security upgrade process started which outlined the full upgrades. She said the plan includes a ramp for disabled people to access City Hall.
 
Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer added that the full security plans could not be provided as certain security aspects has to remain confidential and that not everyone could be privy to the details.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa.
 
 
Please read this confidentiality disclaimer:   http://www.durban.gov.za/Pages/edisclaimer.aspx