R87m+ needed for flood relief in Kouga

R87-million and more is needed to repair damage to service infrastructure in the Kouga municipal area following the recent heavy rains – 500mm+ of rain was recorded in the area since May.

And in the light of this estimate Kouga Council this morning approved a funding application for flood damage repairs at a special meeting at Jeffreys Bay.

Kouga Executive Mayor, Booi Koerat, said councillors also requested additional remedial work be included in the final application. “Our officials will make these additions today so we can submit the application to the Cacadu District Municipality before the end of the week. Kouga has taken a heavy beating and repairs are a matter of urgency,” he said.

He joined councillors from the ruling and opposition parties in congratulating municipal officials for their handling of the flooding and for compiling the application speedily. The funding application includes an amount of R15-million to repair the Sand River culvert outside St Francis Bay that collapsed on Thursday last week, leaving St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis isolated.  A temporary bypass was completed on Friday to allow vehicles access to and from the towns.

The Mayor, who has been lobbying strongly for closer working relationships between the municipality and communities since his inauguration in June, further praised the spirit of togetherness that prevailed during the Sand River crisis.  “What moved me was the way people from all walks of life helped one another. The fact that nobody was hurt and that the bypass was completed within 24 hours shows how much we can achieve when we work together,” he said.

Also included in the application is R3-million to repair the main water pipeline from the Churchill Dam to St Francis Bay. The line was damaged on Tuesday last week when 93mm of rain beat down on the Kouga area in less than 24 hours.

Koerat said boreholes had to be used to supply the town with water for the past few days, however, temporary repairs to the main pipeline were completed this morning. The application further puts the damage to gravel roads across the area at R20,2-million, with Oyster Bay and Humansdorp the worst affected.

Almost R25-million is included for the repair of potholes, with Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis the worst affected. Just over R5-million is requested to reconstruct roads in Oyster Bay and at Aston Bay and Paradise Beach, Jeffreys Bay.


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