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SA: Statement by Eastern Cape Roads and Public Works, disaster incidents update (24/10/2012)

24th October 2012


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Having visited some of the roads affected by the recent disaster, we send our condolences to the families of those who passed away as a result of these disaster incidents. Our hearts also go to the displaced families and those who homes have been destroyed by the disaster incidents.

We welcome the joint effort by Councillors, South African Defence force, government engineers, municipal officials and disaster management teams to attend to the incidents that occurred in the past few days. Municipalities have reported their mopping up plans, which include fixing the damaged infrastructure such as toilets, homes and some community infrastructure.

Experts will be sent to assess the damage that occurred and put together estimate costs, which will be communicated to the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane and Transport, Roads and Public Works MEC Thandiswa Marawu then submit the status report to the Provincial Executive Committee which meets today.

The report will also be sent to the National Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Treasury prior to it being sent to President Jacob Zuma's office for declaration. As the two departments we will send an SOS appeal to President Zuma to declare a special disaster fund to attend to these incidents in our province.

With regards to the collapsed N2 road, plans are afoot to construct a temporary by-pass from the collapsed portion of the road to create a rejoinder to the other side of the road. If all goes well, the construction of the by-pass is scheduled to start this Friday. With regards to the R72, Engineers are on-sight fixing the collapsed part of Kasouga Bridge and attending to the partially collapsed part of the nearby road.

We welcome the speedy response of our engineers led by SANRAL and the Department for Road and Public Works to attend to the situation and we are confident that the N2 bypass will be completed soon and that the fixing of the Kasouga bridge and the part of R72 will also be completed soon. Municipalities in the affected areas an also attending to damage to I fasten tire to ensure services to communities are still delivered.

Our teams are also attending to the damaged access roads and bridges linking
communities to schools, community amenities and their homes. Community members whose homes were flooded or destroyed by the floods are accommodated in community centres.

R72 is partially opened and operates as stop and go. We appeal to motorists to be
patient while we are attending to these roads in order to provide solution to the situation.

We welcome the coordinated intergovernmental relations approach to the situation and we believe that cooperation is the way to go in attending to these situation.
The Department for Roads and Public Works will also avail resources such as plant
equipment to help the Cacadu district attend to disaster incidents.

At this stage, we are still finalising the assessment of the damage in order for us to indicate how much it will cost government to attend to these disaster incidents.
We cannot put our foot away from the accelerator of dealing with this disaster because it affects schools, people's livelihood, human settlement and economic activities.



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