Work underway to repair flood-ravaged buildings in KZN

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) is working with stakeholders to urgently repair damaged buildings and provide support to install bridges to communities in need, following recent flooding in KwaZulu-Natal.

This as DPWI Minister, Patricia de Lille, and Deputy Minister Noxolo Kiviet, on Tuesday inspected damages caused by the floods.

De Lille said that around 50 state-owned buildings under the custodianship of the department have been damaged by the inclement weather.

In addition, a multi-disciplinary team of built environment professionals such as engineers, architects and quantity surveyors to assist with assessments and a plan of action for repairs under DPWI’s responsibilities has been formed.

The damaged buildings include 27 magistrate’s courts, 11 police stations, 11 military bases and one museum. The damages include leaking roofs and flood damage to infrastructure.

Storms in some parts have damaged infrastructure such as roads, bridges, reticulation networks, residential homes, business and public buildings.

De Lille said the unfortunate experience had also resulted in loss of lives and injuries to many residents.

“Over the past few days, the DPWI in KZN has been in contact with all client departments and requested that all damages to state property are to be reported immediately,” she said, adding that the department is working closely with client departments to ensure that the most urgent repairs are done speedily.

Building bridges

Apart from repairing damaged State-owned buildings, the DPWI and Department of Defence have entered into an agreement to collaborate in the installation of Modular Steel Bridges in the country.

Dozens of bridges have already been installed in KwaZulu-Natal and in the Eastern Cape to provide much needed relief and improve access to rural communities where residents have to cross river streams to access schools, places of work, clinics and other amenities.

The DPWI and Kwa-Zulu Natal Department of Transport signed a Memorandum of Agreement to install bridges within Kwa-Zulu Natal Province.

In that regard, a total of 18 bridges were planned for 2022/23. Of the 18 bridges, nine already planned for the financial year are in the affected areas.

In total, 24 bridges will be constructed in KZN during the 2022/23 financial year.

De Lille appealed to the teams to work with urgency and prioritise bridges according to where the need is most pressing. The DPWI will provide a list of state-owned land in urban and rural areas that can possibly be used for resettlement of communities displaced by the floods

The Minister was also accompanied by KZN MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works and Human Settlements, Jomo Sibiya, Head of Infrastructure South Africa, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and the heads of various entities.  –