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Gabion Baskets newsletter | June 2022 | KZN Floods April 2022

The floods that occurred during April 2022 in KZN and the subsequent damages have proven that no bank is stable unless properly protected with a correctly installed Gabion. Between 13th April – 30 April 2022, a team from Gabion Baskets visited approximately 50 different sites and still counting, subsequent to the most recent flooding again in May, where, due to poor retaining or no retaining at all,  extensive damages occurred as well as loss of life.

Most sites visited were either retained by concrete retaining blocks or no retaining at all, it has also become evident that due to poor storm water draining, underground erosion occurred because of burst storm water pipes and sewage drainage, which caused banks to collapse.  This, coupled with the topsoil erosion which caused severe mud slides spelt danger, the most common failures were due to sliding because of poor foundations and insufficient weepholes.

Below are some of the sites visited and a brief description and suggested methods provided.

The client advised that there was a concrete retaining block system protecting the property, some of the blocks can still be seen in the photographs, we suggested a 2.5 meter Mass Gravity River Retaining Wall as an alternate solution.
These houses had to be evacuated due to the severe erosion. We were unable to determine whether there was a retaining system in place due to the severity of the damages.
A 5.5 meter high Mass Gravity River Retaining wall has been recommended.


This side of the complex had to be evacuated and there was also talk of loss of life. We have not yet been able to go back to site to review as the damages are so severe that a proper assessment could not be made until such time as debris and soil could be removed, we hope to re – visit this site asap.


The height of this embankment is approximately 20 – 30 meters, it would be ideal to retain from the bottom but for some people this is just not affordable, we therefore suggested a benched wall where we could still retain the embankment – a very innovative idea.

Durban North

Retaining blocks failed at the foundation, we suggested a 4-meter-high mass gravity wall.

Durban North

On this site there was previously no retaining system, the client advised that they do not mind losing some ground as long as we can retain the rest, due to the steepness of the embankment we again suggested the 2m high benched wall.