Relief Committee wants funds to be released urgently to assist affected communities

The Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery says government funding for the disasters in KwaZulu-Natal must be made available urgently to assist affected communities.

Repairs to damaged and collapsed bridges and roads from last month’s floods are underway in areas in and around the city. Concern has been raised regarding the slow pace of repairs. In several areas work is stagnant.

The committee is in Kwa-Zulu-Natal conducting oversight visits to flood-stricken areas including Durban, eShowe and Kwa-Dukuza.

Kwa-Dukuza officials say that the area alone will require R1 billion to repair damaged infrastructure.

Watch: Flood Disaster Relief Committee conducts oversight visit in Flood stricken areas

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‘Act faster’

Co-chair of the Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery, Cedric Frolick, has issued an urgent call for relief funds to be released on a national level.

He says different government departments need to act faster to reach people on the ground and ensure that funding that has been announced by the Minister of Finance must be unlocked as soon as possible.

“The provincial government is doing what it can, the Premier gave us a very honest and frank explanation of what is currently taking place. Their interventions are currently on the way to ensure the road network is being restored as well as other services. But the Province on its own with its own funding cannot do it on its own,” explains Frolick.

Similarly KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, says the R 1 billion rand worth of relief funding has not yet reached the Province.

#sabcnews #sabckzn KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala says they have NOT yet received the 1 billion rand worth of relief funding. pic.twitter.com/xxP6rIyRdB

— Nonkululeko Hlophe (@Leko3) May 28, 2022

The lack of representation by the Provincial Department of Co-operative Governance and the eThekwini Municipality has left committee members and other representatives disappointed.

EFF’s Veronica Mente and IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa share these sentiments saying Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC and the eThekwini Mayor’s absence makes it very difficult for them to maintain any confidence that they understand the gravity of the situation.

“They are taking parliamentary interventions with the seriousness it deserves because this was in response to the public outcry of the extent of the corruption in South Africa. As far as the disaster management finance borrowing from the COVID-19 fund and for us to then find ourselves with the situation of absent leadership of eThekwini is highly problematic.”

The committee will visit the Ugu District on the Province’s South coast to wrap up the weekend.

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