The eThekwini Municipality has committed R658 million towards relief and repair efforts as a result of the devastating storms that ravished the province this week.
An urgent Exco meeting convened on Friday, 26 April 2019, where the eThekwini Municipality requested the province to declare a state of disaster in the city. In this meeting, eThekwini also committed R658 million towards assistance and repairs following the devastating storms in Durban this week.
Following the heavy storms and flooding, the death toll in KwaZulu-Natal has risen to 80, officials have said. MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube said that the eThekwini Metro, Ugu and King Cetshwayo District were the most affected.
At the emergency meeting of the city’s executive committee which remains under way, the recommendation was approved unanimously, while all units of the city are being directed “to assess infrastructure and implement emergency rehabilitation where required.”
The meeting comes after a wave of protests took place on Thursday evening, 25 April 2019, in Umlazi, Durban from communities badly affected by the flooding and mudslides. Protesters were demanding to know why infrastructure problems were not fixed after the devastating storm of 10 October 2017, which caused much the same havoc in the same areas.
eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede said aging infrastructure and clogged storm water drains were not to blame for several mudslides which damaged homes and roads.
On Friday morning, residents from informal settlements along the Mngeni River also blocked roads in Springfield Park and Reservoir Hills. Municipal workers also downed tools at the city’s water and sanitation works in the area.