Sunday, 24 April 2022 17:13

Estimated R1.9bn needed for the Kwazulu/Natal disaster relief.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says while government had reprioritised R1 billion towards disaster relief interventions, they needed more than R1.9 billion to complete their work.

Zikalala was updating the media on the progress made in the province following the recent devastating floods which claimed the lives of more than 400 people.

Following a request a request from the province of Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) in the wake of the devastating floods in the province to have a national state of disaster declared, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 18 April that cabinet has decided to grant this request. 

Speaking during his first national address related to the KZN floods on April 18, the president said the national state of disaster for the KZN floods enables the mobilisation of more resources and as such, cabinet felt that a provincial state of disaster was inadequate. 

As of Sunday, 17 488 households have been affected by the disaster wherein 121 687 people were affected. To date, 485 people have lost their lives while 54 are still reported missing.

Zikalala said a total of 6 278 people are currently homeless and that 7 245 remain in shelters in eThekwini.

Construction of residential temporary units has started, with 4 000 temporary residential units to be ready by the end of the week. Zikalala said they are expecting to start building houses in 6 months as temporary units can't become permanent.

Most of the roads in KZN are open, but Zikalala warned that some roads are unsafe to use and have only one lane for traffic.

He said their objective is to ensure that all areas have water, electricity and road access restored as soon as possible so that normality is restored in all parts of the province.

Zikalala further took the opportunity to paint a picture of the estimated costs of the damage in the province, which may be revised upwards or downwards as operations continue.

"Overall, it is now estimated that the largest expenditure on rehabilitation will come from Prasa-related infrastructure, which will amount to R955 449 000.

"This is a clear demonstration of the ferocious nature of these storms and the work that remains ahead before we can restore our province back to the pre-floods period," he said.