Rebuilding infrastructure still remains a huge challenge following KZN floods

Reading Time: 3 minutes

eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda says insufficient funding is the main challenge that has led to delays in rebuilding infrastructure that was damaged by floods in April last year.

Over 400 people died in the province following days of torrential rains and mudslides that began on April 11.

It left communities without essential services like water and electricity.

Thousands of homes and businesses were affected and destroyed.

It’s has been a year since devastating floods led to the deaths of over 400 KwaZulu-Natal residents.

Thousands more were displaced.

Some remain missing to this day.

23-year-old Anele Zulu’s sister went missing during these floods.

Her remains have not yet been found.

But, despite the time that’s passed, Zulu says they still have hope.

“This is very painful, I lost my eldest sister, we’ve never lost a family member in this manner. We have not even been able to find their remains. We had to conduct a ritual to collect her spirit and send it home. We wish you could find our relatives that disappeared during the floods.”

Inanda residents want government to rebuild a bridge that was washed away during the floods.

It’s left a drop several meters deep. The bridge connected Ntuzuma and Nhlungwana.

Just last week, a woman died when her car plunged off the road and fell into the ditch, created by the washed away bridge.

Community member, Kwazikwakhe Ngwane, says now the ditch has become a hideout for criminals.

“We are pleading with government to assist us with this bridge because we use it a lot. As it is buses cannot come this side and the elderly are struggling without buses. Then there are thieves who hide here and they rob people on their way to work in the morning.”

Kaunda, cites insufficient funding as the main challenge to delays in rebuilding infrastructure.

Kaunda says damage to road infrastructure alone is estimated at R5.6 billion.

He says the aim is to ensure that displaced residents, who are currently in temporary housing, are allocated permanent residences, by end of next year.

“We then agreed that at least our timeline is that by 2024, we should start giving them their permanent houses, but we’re starting now to build. By 2024, all of them should have been covered with their permanent houses; by end of 2024 and I must emphasize that.”

Barely a month after the April floods — the province was hit by a second similar incident that largely affected towns north of the city.