It will cost South Africa  1-trillion  to rebuild KZN After the devastating cyclone Dulula

It will cost the taxpayer almost R1-trillion to restore the damaged infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal after the devastating floods this month.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala, who described the recent floods as “the greatest disaster” to befall SA, said the worst damage has been to Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) infrastructure, which amounts to over R940bn.

The total damage, which Zikalala said may be revised upwards or downwards, is in excess of R954bn.

Transport-related costs came to over R6bn, human settlements damages came to about R2.6bn. Education-related repairs will cost over R442m while health will cost about R183m.

“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,” Zikalala said.

“As we settle to take stock of our lives, we are now convinced that this is by far the greatest disaster to befall our country in our lifetime. The sheer loss of lives is simply unprecedented and the damage to infrastructure is unparalleled certainly in the history of postapartheid SA.

“The greatest [financial] cost of this disaster has been in infrastructure which has been destroyed. As we rebuild the physical environment around us, we must accept that it will take longer and a much more nuanced programme for us to rebuild and restore hope and trust among the victims and the survivors.”

About 17,438 households have been affected by the disaster and 121,687 people were affected.

The death toll stands at 435 people and while 54 are still missing.

About 6,278 people are currently homeless, while 7,245 people remain in shelters in eThekwini.

Water and sanitation minister Senzo Mchunu said the government would use the rebuilding of infrastructure as a “renewal programme” instead of expensive small refurbishments.

“We want to take advantage to be comprehensive and include a renewal programme with regard to our infrastructure. We were already on the edge of disaster in terms of our infrastructure. We now have taken advantage for a new one in all of this so that our infrastructure gets positioned for better sustainability going into the future,” he said.

An estimate of what it will cost to restore flood-damaged infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal.
Image: Supplie

He gave an assurance that the infrastructure rebuilding will be devoid of corruption.

“We are augmenting resources that each of us has for the benefit of the community. We are on top of things. We are going to do our best to make sure that we are not interrupted by any form of corruption … and will be providing the service to the best of our ability within reasonable speed,” Mchunu said.

EThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the municipality is making progress in restoring water and sanitation services.

“We are pleased to have been able to restore services in a number of areas in the city despite the magnitude of this challenge. Water supply has been improved by 60% in the inner and outer western regions. There is also a noticeable improvement in the central and northern regions of 50% and 40% respectively,” he said.

By the end of this week, the water supply will be restored in most of the areas affected in the south.

He said the oThongathi water treatment plant within the municipality, which was severely damaged, will take about six months to repair.


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