Companies appointed to build temporary homes in KwaZulu-Natal

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Sunday World

As the work to repair and rebuild infrastructure damaged by floods in KwaZulu-Natal gets under way, service providers have been appointed to construct 1 810 temporary residential units (TRU) across the province.

Giving a progress report on support for affected families, and measures to rebuild the province and grow the economy, KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala said on Thursday to date, 77 of the 1 810 TRUs are complete.

However, he noted that progress has been slow due to unsuitability of land, as rebuilding cannot take place in the same communities that were flooded.

“Units are being constructed in Molweni, KwaMakhutha, and Inanda. These will soon be handed over to beneficiaries,” Zikalala said.

On identifying land, Zikalala said out of 64 mass care centres, 21 have been “linked with a possible land parcel [sic]”.

He added that at least 25 land parcels from the national Department of Public Works and the provincial department of public works have been identified, with a total of 49 hectares.

“Detailed assessments [are] currently under way on the 25 recommended properties. The South African National Defence Force is [rolling out] bailey bridges, while the KZN department of transport is leading a massive project called ‘Valamapotholes’ [fixing potholes], working together with municipalities.”

The premier also assured that the 630 schools that were damaged have since been opened and functioning, with temporary mobile classes provided.

While acknowledging that there are still water supply challenges in some areas, he said there is substantial progress in restoring water supply, where infrastructure was severely damaged, adding that water supply has improved by 75-80% in most of the areas in eThekwini, where major disruption occurred.

He also announced that major repairs in the oThongathi area are expected to take a few months, at an estimated cost of R30-million.

“As an interim solution, the municipality [eThekwini] has intensified the provision of additional water tankers, and more static tanks will be added. There are also boreholes and package plants provided by NGOs [non-government organisations], and we appreciate their support,” Zikalala said.

He said eThekwini is creatively reconfiguring the existing system and has constructed an emergency pipeline from Nyaninga reservoir to oThongathi South reservoir (located at Chelmsford Buffelsdale). The necessary tie-inns were completed on May 16.

“Access to piped water supply is expected to be available from today [Thursday] for the following areas that feed on the oThongathi South reservoir: Watsonia, Buffelsdale, Mithanager, Trurolands, Gandhinagar, Chelmsford Heights, and parts of Tongaat CBD.”

Zikalala said the restoration of supply to the oThongathi South areas was achievable due to the design nature of the reticulation system and the proximity of an available existing water point.

He further mentioned that the municipality continues its plan to augment supply to more areas fed from the damaged Tongaat Water Treatment Works, and “will be reporting in due course on updates for the Hambanathi, Emona, Mamba Ridge and surrounding areas”.

“Supply is still a challenge in the lower Molweni area and Wushwini due to road and water infrastructure being destroyed. About 188 water tankers within eThekwini have been deployed as an interim measure to supply water in all affected areas.

“We have also started to put static tanks and drill boreholes in some areas. Supply to Ntuzuma and surrounding areas is also a challenge [and] the municipality continues to balance supply in these areas by rationing.

“Major pipeline replacement work that will secure supply is due for completion by the week ending 20 May 2022. It will cover Inanda Newtown B; Inanda Newtown C; Inhlungwana; Ezimangweni; and Bester.”

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