Committee concludes oversight visit to KZN

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Parliament's  Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery has concluded its follow-up oversight visit to KwaZulu-Natal.

On the last leg of the visit, the committee visited two sites which are currently being used as temporary shelters following the April floods in the province.

On Thursday the committee visited two sites that include Mount View Community Hall, a temporary shelter in Verulam and Umdloti.

The committee found the condition in which people live in the Mount View shelter unacceptable and inhumane.

The committee noted that although the number of people accommodated in the shelter has been reduced from 400 to just above 200 people, the shelter is still overcrowded.

However, committee members welcomed the assurance by the City of eThekwini that the people living in the shelter will be relocated to Temporary Residential Units (TRU) by the end of October 2022.

The committee also welcomed commitment from MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Sihle Zikalala, that a suitable land parcel, Cottonland has been secured from Tongaat Hullett to be used for this purpose.

Zikalala said that access to Cottonland will ensure proximity to amenities, including schools and places of employment for residents.

The committee undertook to monitor and follow up on the commitments made by both eThekwini Municipality Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda and the CoGTA MEC.

Progress in Umdloti

The committee also expressed its satisfaction with the notable progress made in the rehabilitation of the Umdloti area since its last visit in May 2022.

“The committee is pleased that all the work was done by the City of eThekwini internally without outsourcing it externally. The committee calls on the city to have a long-term plan that factors in the reality of climate change to prevent future landslides in the area,” said committee chairpersons, Cedric Frolick and Jomo Nyambi.

The committee however raised its disappointment that it could not visit the Tongaat Water Treatment Plant, after being informed that progress has been made in the reconstruction of the damaged water treatment plant.

The members had to postpone its visit to the water treatment plant due to a protest that coincided with its visit on Thursday.

“The committee plans to engage the communities impacted by the damage to the water treatment plant at the earliest available opportunity to listen to their grievances,” Frolick and Nyambi said.

The three-day oversight  visit to KZN which commencecd on Tuesday,  gave the committee time to assess, among other things, progress in the interventions made by the provincial government and municipalities in the areas that were severely affected by the floods. –