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April floods: R3.8bn damage to infrastructure, says City

Home Business Management Disaster Management April floods: R3.8bn damage to infrastructure, says City

A special full council meeting was held on 18 May to update city management on the recent flood disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts.

A total of 390 fatalities have been confirmed with a further 60 people still missing.

Total damage caused by the floods to infrastructure is estimated to be R3.8 billion, excluding human settlements.

Over nine thousand (9442) displaced people have been placed in shelters around the city. The city is providing meals, food packs, blankets, hygiene packs, nursing services, among other things, and is being assisted by a number of partners.

The Motsepe foundation has assisted the city to bury 129 people.


More than 100 power stations were severely affected by the floods. To date all high voltage sub stations have been restored with some work still in progress on low and medium voltage faults. Some communities are, however, still experiencing outages due cable theft.

A mobile power station has restored supply to the Mariannridge Power Station, which caught fire after the flood disaster.

The city is aware that power supply is being interrupted in KwaNdengezi almost daily. This is caused by an electricity overload between KwaNdengenzi and Zwelibomvu after the damage caused to the Mariannridge substation. Work on the Mariannridge substation  is expected to be completed in the next two weeks. Residents are urged to reduce their electricity usage during the evenings peak time between 5pm and 7pm.


Heavy rains severely damaged the water treatment plant in oThongathi. Repairs are expected to take a few months at an estimated cost of R30m.

Gift of the Givers sunk boreholes and donated a package water. The public is warned that water from boreholes and the package plant is not safe to drink, but can be used for flushing toilets, washing and bathing.

Construction of an emergency water supply pipeline from Nyaninga Reservoir to Tongaat South Reservoir (located at Chelmsford Buffelsdale area) was completed on 16 May.

The municipality is currently reconfiguring the existing system for the new pipeline to receive water at Tongaat South Reservoir. Access to piped water supply is expected in the next few days for the following areas that feed from the Tongaat South Reservoir:

  • Watsonia
  • Buffelsdale
  • Mithanager
  • Trurolands
  • Gandhinagar
  • Chelmsford Heights
  • Part of Tongaat Central Business District

Supply will be intermittent to the following areas in oThongathi South region feeding from Nyaninga Reservoir:

  • King Shaka international Airport
  • Dube Tradeport Agrizone
  • Mount Morelands
  • Shortlands

Supply will be augmented to more areas fed from the damaged Tongaat Water Treatment Works, including Hambanathi, Emona, Mamba Ridge and surrounding areas.

Supply is still affected in the lower Molweni and Wushwini areas due to road and water infrastructure destruction. Water tankers have been deployed, and the municipality has started installing static tanks and sinking boreholes in some areas.

The major pipeline replacement to Ntuzuma is expected to be completed during the week beginning 23 May.

Wastewater and sewage

Total cost of emergency repairs to the sewer network is in excess of R72 million. Priority will be given to the northern areas due to the extent of sewer blockages as well as areas in the south where major repairs are ongoing.

Roads and stormwater maintenance

Significant progress has been made repairing and reinstating damaged roads and stormwater infrastructure. The department has attended to 890 incidents of damaged infrastructure and repaired 241 roads in the North, 275 in the South and 374 in the West.


Eight-thousand (8000) formal and informal houses were affected by the floods. Assistance to people housed in shelters will be given priority.

Assistance includes material supply to 3088 households, repairs, rebuilding of 175 houses and 560 temporary residential units that under construction by the KZN Department of Human Settlements.

Over 60 houses are being built in nine wards and temporary residential units are being constructed in Molweni, KwaMakhutha and Inanda.

Ethekwini transport authority

Durban Transport is operating as many trips as possible. Constraints include the availability of buses. Rebuilding of the Ntuzuma and Rossburgh bus depots is expected to cost R2.9 million.

A section of road between the R102 interchange and M4 south is badly damaged, and the road is being cleared for temporarily access before major remedial works begins.

Economic impact

Preliminary data from a survey by the department indicates that the most affected sectors of the economy are: manufacturing with an estimated damage of R431m; agriculture R12.6m;  construction R18m; wholesale and retail R46m; warehousing and logistics R33m.


The city lost about 30 000 visitors over the Easter period amounting to a loss in revenue of R75m. The department reports that the Africa Travel Indaba was attended by 3 700 delegates.

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