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The recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern parts of the Eastern Cape illustrated numerous related features of our contemporary socioeconomic crisis.

The first is that our social and economic infrastructure, be it roads, drainage or human settlement provisioning, has not caught up with population growth, settlement patterns and the spatial reorganisation of SA cities in the postapartheid era. Much of this infrastructure, built in the 20th century, has reached its terminal age and is in need of comprehensive replacement. Yet this seldom happens, and where repair and maintenance resources are allocated, they are in some cases unspent...

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