eThekwini CFO calls for financial support following KZN floods

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Sandile Mnguni told parliament that the floods had amounted to R3.9 billion in damages for the city.

eThekwini CFO Sandile Mnguni told parliament on 24 August that the municipality suffered R5.7 billion in damages due to the KwaZulu-Natal floods. “Our damages for the city are about R3.9 billion, most of which relates to road infrastructure, which amounted to about R2.1 billion. Water and sanitation is about R1.1 billion and about R700 million relates to electricity, infrastructure and other assets,” he said, adding that R1.6 billion of the damages related to human settlements.

“Almost 400 sites were affected by the storms and each site had various assets, like buildings, vehicles and furniture.”

Sandile explained that the city would redirect R2.1 billion from its 2022/23 budget and take out a R500 million loan to restore some critical infrastructure, including electricity. “We’re of the view that we are losing money as the city, so we have to restore it urgently, especially in the south.”

He further added that internal funding was made available and that the municipality has reprioritised some of its informal and urban settlements (USDG) grants. “As part of the reprioritisation, we received a portion of about R240 million two weeks ago. We will be using that to respond to some disaster-related matters while we’re waiting for support from the national government,” he said. “However, we’ve had to defer some of the projects, so we will still need to replace that money.”

Sandile explained that the city had received close to R1 billion in insurance claims and would need about R3 billion from the National Treasury to continue to service infrastructure. “When you look at our roads, we are servicing about 10,000km, sanitation is close to 8,000km, and water pipeline is about 12,600. That's the extent of the challenges we are dealing with, so we do need that support from [national government].”

He confirmed that eThekwini had submitted its claims, but that it is still awaiting its share of the disaster relief fund. “The last feedback with the National Treasury was a communication that came through from the National Disaster Management Centre. They indicated that within the next few weeks we would be getting about R185 million."

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