DA in KZN disappointed that no disaster funds have been made available to flood victims

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal says it is disappointed that no disaster funds have been made available to assist flood victims yet. The party says the R1 billion that was promised by President Cyril Ramaphosa has not arrived.

Speaking at a media briefing on disaster relief measures, the party said now is the time to act and rebuild, but nothing is being done. The DA in KwaZulu-Natal is not satisfied with the pace of aid efforts in the province after last month’s devastating floods.

The party’s KZN leader Francois Rodgers says according to officials the national government is unable to provide the province with disaster relief funds until audited financial statements are available on the 2021/2022 budget – which is expected by September.

Rodgers says this is disappointing. “The president made it clear there is R1 billion and the Minister of Finance said there is a billion in contingency funds and is available immediately, now I asked that question to the MEC of Finance and she indicated that there is no billion Rand. So, we need to establish where are we going to get the money to assist us? Do we have to reprioritise our provincial budget, who is going to assist Ethekwini in their damage relief, because as we know they don’t have the budget and they don’t have the reserve funds?”

In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa assures flood victims that they will get the assistance they need:

Rodgers is questioning how the Disaster Management Centre is being run. He believes that there is a lack of coordination between different spheres of government.

“We need to acknowledge that rains might have come and gone, the floods have gone but we are still dealing with the crisis in the province. At this stage, we as DA are still questioning where and who is running the disaster control or disaster management centre? We still need to deal with housing, deal with infrastructure damage but who is running and who is in charge of it, and who is part of that disaster management team? What we saw was that everybody worked in silence, the provincial government was working on its own and Ethekwini was working on its own.”

DA caucus leader in the Ethekwini Municipality Nicole Graham says few people know how to claim for vouchers to repair their homes, and says this is due to miscommunication between the municipality and victims.

“Well, R3 500 will assist with home repairs or vouchers and there has been a lot of confusion in the city about liability and how people will claim and it is really unacceptable. The city was told that some of the claims are false or fake forms. The city has informed you what form to use if your property was affected or if you are a person who needs assistance. This will really have devastating consequences as there are thousands of people whose homes have been damaged and not insured or covered by insurance or there is no real assistance.”

Meanwhile, provincial government spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, says the government is working around the clock to help victims.

“The government has been leading this crisis from day one, and we know that the donation came later when a lot had happened. The government is working around the clock to ensure that the bereaved families are able to bury their loved ones with dignity, to ensure that the economy begins to function as a lot has happened.”

More than 400 people died in the devastating floods, while some remain missing.