19 March 2019
Executive Committee Decisions
The estimated cost of damage to infrastructure by the recent storm in the City is estimated at R50 million currently but could be higher as assessments in affected areas are still ongoing. This amount includes engineering-related costs as well as damage that occurred to properties such as collapsed retaining walls.
An update of damage incurred and City interventions was outlined in a report tabled at an Executive Committee meeting held today, 19 March.
The preliminary report on heavy rainfall sought to give an account of inclement weather-related incidents which included heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds that occurred in eThekwini on 10 to 11 March. The incidents had enormous impact resulting in severe damage to houses, roads, infrastructure and public facilities, the report stated.
A number of wards within the Municipality were affected particularly in the north including areas such as Kwa Mashu, Inanda, Ntuzuma, Phoenix and Verulam. Other reports were also received from Clermont, Kwa Dabeka, Quarry Heights and Palmiet.
Many houses were flooded mainly due to aging infrastructure and the inability of the stormwater drainage systems to contain heavy water volumes thus causing damage to properties especially in many areas of Kwa Mashu.
In Amaoti, Inanda, many informal dwellings collapsed causing many people to be displaced, the report stated.
There were 104 incidents reported to the Disaster Management call centre which included two children being trapped inside a flooded house in Ntuzuma C section, burst water mains, damage to roads and a number of houses flooded.
The tabled report stated that 72 displaced residents from ward 53 have been accommodated at the Amaoti Community Hall.
And of the 788 complaints received related to roads and stormwater maintenance, 122 were complaints of damage to roads, 342 complaints of blocked inlets, 28 for blocked pipes with 22 sinkholes reported.
The report outlined short, medium and long term interventions to be undertaken by the City.
This includes conducting an assessment of damage incurred and categorising the repairs required in terms of the Coastal Stormwater and Maintenance Department according to urgent and emergency repairs.
A Human Settlements Department team, consisting of inspectors and engineers, are currently finalising the assessment report. They will also be looking into providing medium to long term solutions for the displaced families as well as provided a detailed list of the affected houses that need to be rebuilt and apply for required funding through Treasury.
Burial assistance will also be provided to the families of people killed during the heavy rainfall.
Assessments are still ongoing in affected areas with units planning the rehabilitation of infrastructure on a short and long term basis.
This includes the Disaster Management Unit assessing all flood prone areas within affected awards as an emergency and update the Disaster Risk Assessment in the City.
The Engineering Unit will conduct an assessment of all affected roads and drainage capacity, taking into consideration the most affected areas as an emergency and provide a detailed plan indicating short, medium and longer term with financial implications.
Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Mondli Mthembu said this was a preliminary report with assessments still being conducted. A further updated report will be presented to the Executive Committee.
He said the City will be discussing interventions to respond more effectively to disasters.
“The issue of partnerships with non-governmental organisations and others working in the relief sector must be established in order to respond more efficiently to disasters. There needs to be a platform to discuss disaster relief interventions before they occur and not only after the incident has occurred,” said Councillor Mthembu.
Regarding the drainage system in the City, he said the Engineering Unit has been tasked with developing a plan to present to his committee on how they will be dealing with the blocked stormwater systems. This comes as most of the flooding was caused by blocked stormwater systems. He said the plan will have a community-driven approach.
EThekwini Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said education in communities about blocked drainage systems was key.
“We were on site and saw some of the items people have thrown down the drains. The public needs to be educated to prevent the blocking of the system which in turn will prevent flooding during heavy rains,” she said.
EThekwini Municipality will be hosting a farewell match to be played by Banyana Banyana versus Jamaica as the country’s women football team heads off to the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time.
This follows the tabling of a report outlining the match at an Executive Committee meeting held today, 19 March.
The match is due to take place in April as Banyana Banyana will head off to compete in the World Cup taking place from 7 June to 7 July in France.
The report states that hosting the trophy tour will enhance eThekwini Municipality’s reputation to host major events and support for female participation in sports. It will also count in the City’s favour when South African bids to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The match will be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on 6 April. The official Mayoral farewell reception and trophy tour will be held on 5 April.
The match will be broadcast live and entry to the stadium will be free.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications Mandla Nsele.
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