Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Dr Zweli Mkhize, has announced a multi-million rand drought-relief package of which Makana Municipality is down to receive R810 000 for water infrastructure projects.
Announcing the national government’s intervention of R434 million from the Disaster Grants administered by Cogta as immediate disaster relief funding over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years, Mkhize said some R348.846 million would be transferred in the 2017/18 financial year and R84.678 million in the 2018/19 financial year.
The Eastern Cape is set to receive R104.738 from the Municipal Disaster Grant. Of this, the seven local municipalities under Sarah Baartman District Municipality, including Makana, will receive a total of R6 358 000 for water infrastructure projects.
Mkhize said the declaration of a state of disaster at any level was not primarily aimed at requesting funding, but at activating extraordinary measures. These might include funding, based on need, along with other relevant actions to address the impact of such a disaster. He said Cogta was engaging stakeholders and communities to implement intervention measures for recovery in the long term.
A summary for the allocation of funding is as follows:
Table 1: A summary for the funding allocation for drought:
[pdf-embedder url=”http://www.grocotts.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/1.-Disaster-relief-funds-to-help-protect-the-poor-Oped-Edited-KD.pdf” title=”1. Disaster relief funds to help protect the poor Oped Edited KD”]
“Since the Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Drought and Water Scarcity held its last media briefing announcing the declaration of drought as a national disaster on 13 March 2018 in Cape Town, the severity of the drought is still evident in all the Cape Provinces (Western, Eastern and Northern). Other provinces are also affected with pockets of drought in varying scales in some of the areas,” Mkhize said.
Acting Director-General at the Department of Water and Sanitation, Sifiso Mkhize, welcomed the news of the funding.
“As the drought affects several municipalities, most of which are home to large numbers of poor and vulnerable people, a sizeable portion of the allocations go to supporting water infrastructure projects across the affected provinces, Sifiso Mkhize said.
[pdf-embedder url=”http://www.grocotts.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2.-Disaster-relief-funds-to-help-protect-the-poor-Oped-Edited-KD.pdf” title=”2. Disaster relief funds to help protect the poor Oped Edited KD”]
Zweli Mkhize called on the provinces, relevant departments and municipalities receiving this funding to implement the drought relief projects swiftly in order to cushion affected citizens.
Zweli Mkhize, whose department is responsible for disaster management in the country, repeated Ramaphosa’s call for the government “to protect the vulnerable and the poor who are the most at risk from the social and humanitarian effects of the drought”.
“As it stands, the drought in the Cape provinces continues to intensify, spelling a serious threat to communities in these areas,” Sifiso Mkhize said. “The announcement of the funding is welcome, as the funds will help provide support to these communities.
“The DWS will continue to work within the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT to monitor the drought conditions throughout the country and take appropriate decisions – including the regular review of decisions based on the drought and water shortage conditions within the country,” Sifiso Mkhize said. “This includes working closely with the South African Weather Service (SAWS), which is to continue monitoring and advising on weather forecasts so that we make informed decisions, particularly on disaster risk reduction.