Cost of KwaZulu-Natal’s deadly floods ‘likely’ to roll into billions of rands

The Water and Sanitation Department says an estimated cost of the damage caused by the KwaZulu-Natal floods is likely to amount to billions of rand.

These pictures were taken in areas such as Mayville and Inanda. Picture: Xolile Bhengu/Eyewitness News.

KWAZULU-NATAL - The Water and Sanitation Department says an estimated cost of the damage caused by the KwaZulu-Natal floods is likely to amount to billions of rand.

In a briefing on Sunday, Minister Senzo Mchunu said projected costs for damaged water pipes in some districts were projected at around R857 million.

Flood victims have been without water for at least 10 days as they try to rebuild their lives from almost two weeks of a traumatic disaster.

Mchunu said the complete rands and cents would be determined once repairs were at an advanced stage.

SEARCH FOR VICTIMS

The South African National Defence Force (Sandf) said soldiers would remain in KwaZulu-Natal for as long as relief efforts were needed.

General Andres Mahapa said less than 500 soldiers were on the ground to help with restoring power lines, water services, structural engineers and to provide medical support.

Mahapa said the full extent of the devastation was still revealing itself.

"No one could have expected the severity of this disaster. As the defence force and other elements, we are doing everything humanly possible to assist. However, I need to acknowledge it's not enough. We did not anticipate the volume of the volume of the damage that is happening."

Mahapa said rescue teams would continue to monitor flood-prone areas.

"We have air capabilities that are assisting search and rescue and in delivering food and assisting with water purification."