Umdloti residents blame developers for worsening devastation from recent floods

Last month’s floods saw two massive crevices open in the residential area below the development.

The Surfside building in uMdloti was damaged during heavy rains on 21 May 2022. Picture: Nhlanhla Mabaso/Eyewitness News

UMDLOTI - A group behind a new mixed-use development in the seaside village of Umdloti, north of Durban, says the process of assessing the situation following the devastating storms over the weekend is still underway.

On Wednesday, residents took to the streets to protest the development.

Last month’s floods saw two massive crevices open in the residential area below the development. And the storm this past weekend, further worsened the situation and saw several homes destroyed and several families forced to evacuate.

The residents believe the developers, the Devmco Group, are to blame.

Kevin Minter-Brown, who’s been staying in the area for eight years told Eyewitness News, “We’ve had enough really. This bunch of people here today are angry and they are grieving, you know. We have lost our village. Essentially this is a tourist town. So much land has disappeared, so many houses, so many apartments. There’s open sewage flowing through the shopping centre at the bottom, all over the streets.”

Minter-Brown said the community had never seen anything like this.

“We’ve had severe rains over the decades. It has never ever been of this magnitude. Entire apartment blocks have been condemned in this town. People have lost their homes and their livelihoods.”

Devmco, for its part, said the process of assessing the situation was underway.

However, the group highlighted that the recent rains were unprecedented and had been declared natural disasters.

The group also referred Eyewitness News to two statements issued following the April floods, in which it confirmed the new development had an approved stormwater management plan and was compliant with all environmental requirements.

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