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KZN needs billions to repair damage from floods and fires

By unknown | Mar 06, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

The heavy rains that have battered KwaZulu-Natal in the past four months, leaving a trail of death, destruction and mayhem have cost more than R400million in damages.

This was revealed during a disaster management meeting in Durban yesterday.

It was revealed that the province needed R2,4billion to rehabilitate infrastructure after tsunami-like tidal waves wreaked havoc along the coastline in 2007.

The South Coast and Umzinto and certain parts of eThekwini suffered damages estimated at R3,6billion during floods last June, as well as R199million damage caused to homesteads, livestock and infrastructure during veld fires last year.

Mike Mabuyakhulu, MEC for housing and local government, said that since November last year at least 28 people had been killed by natural disasters.

"Many families have been displaced because homes have been destroyed, with long-term ecological effects still to be determined. Such has been the devastating frequency with which the floods have occurred that since last November not a week has passed without incidents being reported," he said.

Mabuyakhulu said the disasters had put a huge strain on the province's disaster management resources.

"Preliminary assessments have revealed that at least 8500 houses were damaged and 2300 reduced to rubble."


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