eThekwini Municipality Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, has called upon residents to be patient as the municipality works speedily to restore key services, following heavy rains over the weekend.
Kaunda conducted a tour of Umdloti to assess the extent of the damage following heavy rains that have damaged homes, roads and other infrastructure in the north coast community, particularly in Umdloti.
“We had to prioritise visiting uMdloti given the severity of the damage in this area. Our water treatment plant has been damaged and this will affect our ability to provide water to residents in this area,” Kaunda said.
He said municipal emergency services remain on high alert, even though the intensity of the rain in most areas of eThekwini has now subsided.
“Various municipal teams are working round the clock to assist communities and to restore key services,” Kaunda said.
About 190 people evacuated
The Mayor reported that teams had to evacuate some residents overnight, as the rain continued to damage the city.
“Rain gauge and river level analysis were undertaken continuously to identify vulnerable and high-risk areas. Most rainfall was experienced over north and central areas of eThekwini with Bluff and Umdloti receiving high levels of rainfall.
“A family in ward 40 was evacuated to Kwa-Nozaza temporary mass care centre after their house collapsed. About 190 people were relocated from Tehuis to SJ Smith Hall. Mattresses and blankets were provided as a temporary relief,” Kaunda said.
Elderly residents in two retirement homes in Tongaat and Westbrook were also relocated to safety on Saturday night after their homes were affected. However, Kaunda said many of them have since returned to their homes.
Kaunda also noted that various roads have been damaged with some affected by mudslides.
He said that teams were dispatched to remove rubble, trees and mudslides.
“The amount of rain was extensive and as such the drainage systems were severely affected. Despite this, some roads have re-opened for traffic,” the Mayor said.
Over 80 care centres accommodating displaced people
Kaunda said the relief interventions are ongoing to ensure that all community halls with displaced people are receiving adequate relief assistance, social support services and medical assistance.
Currently, he said, there are 82 care centres accommodating displaced people across the city.
“Our health teams continue to provide health services to care centres, including the newly established centre at SJ Smith. Food, non-perishable items, clothing, blankets and matrasses are available to assist those in need.”
Electricity infrastructure still vulnerable
Kaunda said that there has been several outages throughout the city caused by the heavy rains; however, many of them have since been attended.
“Electricity infrastructure is still vulnerable since the April floods and any amount of rain can cause further damage to it. Electricity teams are prioritising fault repairs across the city, especially those faults that affect large areas.
“The Water Treatment Works in Umdloti was flooded. Areas such as Mosely Park, Gillits and KwaNdengezi are also affected by water outages. We are still assessing whether these heavy rains had an impact on the work we had already started in oThongathi,” the Mayor said.
Durban transport operating at full capacity
Meanwhile, Kaunda assured that Durban Transport is operating at full capacity, even though some areas are affected by road closures.
“In such cases there will be detours. The People Mover service is operating normally,” Kaunda said.