Repairs to roads damaged by last month’s floods in KwaZulu-Natal are expected to cost R542.5 million, according to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
He has visited the extent of the damage by traveling to various roads and railway lines in and around the Durban metro.
The floods left a trail of destruction of both road and railway infrastructure.
Mbalula visited the N2 near uMgababa south of Durban where the northbound lanes were closed after the floods because of a sinkhole.
He says they are prioritising interim measures to ensure communities have access where the roads are partially closed.
“The repairs of alternative roads while these interim measures are in place will be prioritised and accelerated so as to make it possible for the affected families to be able to use them again as soon as possible. The repair and rehabilitation on the N2 and N3 are already under way at the total cost of R542.5 million this work will be funded from the Sanral budget.”
Mbalula says the railway network was also severely damaged.
“The Prasa Rail network in KwaZulu-Natal has not been spared by the devastation floods. The disaster compounded the already challenging rail network that had been hit hard by theft and vandalism of rail infrastructure. The service recovery for commuter rail will be undertaken in phases due to the severity of the impact of the floods on the railway network. The quantum costs for the repairs and rehabilitation of the rail network affected by flood damages is estimated at R3.3 billion.”
Meanwhile, Mbalula emphasised that there will be no grace period for drivers with expired licenses. “There will be no grace period. I have explained that we have made arrangements for everybody to go and renew their drivers licenses, you must go to your nearest DMTC and they have been opened over time.
“All the technical issues in terms of the early use and so on in the DMTC are being addressed and there is a technical team working around the clock that attends to any problems that arise. Motorists must go and renew their driver’s licences. The driver’s license machine has been fixed we are working 24 hours,” Mbalula explains.
Mbalula says the repairs of the road and railway infrastructure could take months.
— Nonkululeko Hlophe (@Leko3) May 6, 2022