KZN applies for R17.8 billion in flood relief

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The KwaZulu-Natal government has applied for R17.8 billion in flood relief from the national disaster management centre.

Premier Sihle Zikalala, who gave an update on the province’s disaster relief progress, told the media at Ntshongweni, in Durban, that the devastating floods in April and May could cost as much as R25 billion.

Durban and surrounding areas were the epicenter of the devastating floods in April and May.

More than 8 000 people lost their houses, while more than 13 000 houses were partially destroyed.

Earlier, the provincial government said it aimed to build more than 1 800 temporary residential units but admitted that the project had been delayed due to land being unavailable and construction forums demanding work.

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala gives an update on the recent floods:

So far, 206 temporary residential units have been constructed in the Durban area.

Two families from the Ntshongweni area, who were among the victims who were left homeless, received temporary residential units on Sunday.

Thembekile Qathikazi, a father of seven, says his dignity has been restored.

“I am happy that I will be sleeping in my bed after spending months at a hall. I appreciate the gift from government that we will be able to have shelter.”

More than 85 000 people were affected by the floods. Government says the death toll has risen to 461, while 23 bodies remained unidentified.

The number of people missing stands at 87.

Zikalala says: “This brings the total applied to R17. 8 billion for KwaZulu-Natal sector departments and municipal damages. The province has received acknowledgements to this effect, with independent verification of our application having been done by the municipal infrastructure support agent (Misa) and the Department of Water and Sanitation specialist engineers. We believe that national government is currently processing these requests and we will be hearing from them in the coming days.”

Zikalala says a study has shown that more than 1.3 million people are living below the flood line in Durban.