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R190m bill to repair KZN hospitals and clinics damaged by floods: Phaahla

Aphiwe Deklerk Political reporter
Flood damage at Khokhoba in Resevoir Hills, KZN. File photo.
Flood damage at Khokhoba in Resevoir Hills, KZN. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Health minister Joe Phaahla says his department will have to pay close to R190m to fix health infrastructure that was damaged in the KwaZulu-Natal floods.

Phaahla told this to journalists in parliament on Thursday as part of a report-back on government efforts in the province.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a state of disaster in response to the floods, which left 435 people dead and 54 missing, with damage to property amounting to billions of rand.

Hundreds of people have lost their houses and some communities were cut off as bridges collapsed.

“In the health sector, 66 facilities have been affected, resulting in mainly roof leaks and flooding into clinics and hospitals,” Phaahla said.

He said 24 facilities were damaged in eThekwini, including health centres, hospitals and clinics. Fifteen facilities were affected in the Ugu district, nine in Umgungundlovu and eight in iLembe district. 

“Fortunately there has been minimum disruption in terms of the core services for health.”

He said the cost of the repairs is estimated to be just under R190m, although there is still work being done to see how accurate this figure is. “But this is what has been arrived at between our national health and the provincial health infrastructure teams.”

Phaahla said his department continues to dispatch healthcare services to displaced communities where many people have been placed in shelters. This work included helping people on chronic medication.

LISTEN | Funds for KZN floods will be audited in real time, Ramaphosa tells parliament

Water had been partially restored at some of the health facilities, he said.

Infrastructure damage has limited access to water in most flood-hit areas. A number of communities now rely on water tankers.

Phaahla said about 101 schools are inaccessible, while 124 have seen extensive damage.

“We can confirm that 64 learners have been reported to have passed away as a result of this disaster, while five are still missing. One educator and one food handler have also been reported to have passed away.”

He said though school was ongoing in affected areas, attendance was uneven. 


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