This was revealed by the KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala during a media briefing on Tuesday where he gave the latest update on the response to the floods.
Zikalala, accompanied by the KZN Transport, Safety and Liaison MEC Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni, and other officials assessed the rehabilitation and reconstruction of road infrastructure damaged by the floods. The premier said the number of bodies found by search-and-rescue teams continues to rise.
According to the province, the teams attended 542 calls, recovered 62 bodies, and rescued 164 people. Sixty-three bodies are reportedly still unaccounted for.
As of Tuesday, over 19 000 households had been damaged by the disaster, with 128 743 people affected.
He said 435 people lost their lives while a total of 6 814 are currently homeless as a result of this disaster.
With a number of people still homeless, Zikalala said throughout various districts and eThekwini they are clearing out the temporary shelters to return communities to their homes or temporary residential units (TRUs).
He said the construction of TRUs has started and the constructors were on site in Ilembe District, Ugu District, Nquthu and eThekwini on Friday.
Zikalala said they are finalising the assessment of some sites in Durban in terms of their suitability for construction.
“As we continue with the construction of TRUs, our focus is to accommodate more than 4 396 families that are accommodated in halls, churches and schools. We are also paying special attention to those accommodated by neighbours and relatives,” Zikalala said.
The delegation also conducted a site visit to the Durban South Water Aqueduct to assess progress being made in returning the province’s critical infrastructure back to normal.
Zikalala also said The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has started with the construction of a detour on the N2 to allow the flow of traffic from the south to the north, which has been blocked since the floods.
He said Sanral estimated that the construction of the detour will be finished by Friday.