Floods put spotlight on neglect of Isipingo Rail
GIVEN the recent flooding of the Isipingo Rail CBD/N2 old airport a few points emerge.
For many Isipingo residents this has been more devastating than the 1987 floods.
The flooding of the N2 can be traced to possibly the capacity constraints on the Phila Ndwandwe Road (Isipingo Rail and not in Umlazi – bad move having such street names so close) and the Railway bridge which needs to be extended.
The river will be called Rail River.
To council’s credit, desilting was under way in Prospecton on a decent scale.
On the Phila Ndwandwe bridge it seems over the years a concrete ledge was built directly over the bridge outlet.
The effect of this was the damming up of water in the Bally Road area. The second was the accumulation of debris under the railway bridge and, given its height over the shops, this resulted in the shops being flooded until the bank burst and this must have caused the water to rush and eventually flood the N2.
There was almost a “tsunami” effect, hence most people getting caught off-guard.
In the past the pleas of many Isipingo Rail traders over the drainage issues have been ignored – and are still being ignored.
It seems Isipingo Rail was the stepchild of Toti and now eThekwini until this flood which caused production to stop at Toyota, blocked the N2 and made the South Coast railway line dysfunctional.
This has affected Toyota’s ship deliveries and the cement plants on the lower south coast.
Worst-hit are the commuters who now have to use much more expensive taxis and buses.
Long term, this river needs to be linked with the Umlaas Canal via the old airport and, short term, an extension of the railway bridge, clearing up of the blockages/ concrete barrier on the Phila Ndwandwe Bridge and good housekeeping should avoid a repeat.
MUHAMMAD OMAR Durban North