Northern Cape Premier, Zamani Saul, has officially declared the Northern Cape a drought disaster area.

This follows Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu’s, announcement earlier on Friday in Kimberley that she had no choice than to declare the province a disaster area.

Saul says R300 million will immediately be set aside by Sisulu’s department to deal with the devastating effects of the drought.

“The declaration, as signed by me, will enable the department of agriculture rural development land reform environment and nature conservation with the collaboration of the national department of human settlement water and sanitation to respond decisively to the water problem in the province. An amount of R300 million has been set aside by the national department of human settlement water and sanitation towards drought relief in the province.”

The Minister says making the declaration will give the drought urgent state attention.

“The benefit of declaring it is that we are now able to work on an emergency basis. It means we are able to put on more resources, it means we need to put on more money. We will be able to offset the difficulties of the communities here that they are experiencing over the drought situation to be made much easier when it is declared drought as opposed to a known drought and this is a legal requirement that we need to follow”