The Democratic Alliance (DA) says while it welcomes assistance by the national government to communities in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape devastated by last week’s floods, it will closely monitor any abuse of relief funds, particularly by the KZN provincial government.
President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster on Monday night in order for the government to effectively harness resources and capacity to deal with the devastation of roads, infrastructure, homes, and schools.
DA’s National Spokesperson Cilliers Brink says, “We will be making specific proposals to the Speaker of the National Assembly on how to strengthen the oversight powers of parliament and prevent the abuse of power and public money under the National State of Disaster…”
“We are particularly concerned about the situation in KZN where it is clear that the provincial government is not managing the situation properly and we have had reports of widespread abuse by ANC councillors of disaster relief resources such as commandeering water tankers and so forth and national government must make sure that those abuses do not take place under its watch,” added Brink.
President Ramaphosa addresses the nation on government’s response to widespread flooding:
The death toll stands at 443 following the devastating floods brought on by heavy rains last week. More than 600 schools were affected by the floods, with damages estimated at more than R400 million.
Mobile classrooms are being dispatched to prepare for the reopening of schools this week. In some communities, classrooms are being used as shelters for displaced people.
Preliminary reports also indicate that repairs to the affected road network in KwaZulu-Natal will cost over R5 billion.
The floods have impacted key national and arterial roads and highways.
In several instances, communities have been cut off due to collapsed bridges, mudslides, and caved-in roads.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says, “To restore the road network to its safe conditions again most roads that were blocked so far have been cleared in some cases allowing single lane, work continues to restore access to the remaining road but some will need extensive care to restore them and ensure that they are in good condition. The estimated costs for road infrastructure damages are preliminary sitting at R5.6 billion.”
UNICEF ready to lend a hand to ravaged KZN:
Oversight task team
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an oversight task team to ensure that there will be no looting of the KwaZulu-Natal flood relief funds.
The team will comprise various stakeholders including the Office of the Auditor-General, business, religious sector, labour, community-based organisations as well as professional bodies such as engineers and accountants.
Ramaphosa says, “It will be critical, as we undertake this work, that all the resources we mobilise are used for their intended purposes and reach the intended recipients. there can be no room for corruption, mismanagement, or fraud of any sort. Learning from the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are drawing together various stakeholders to be part of an oversight structure to ensure all funds disbursed to respond to this disaster are properly accounted for and that the state receives value for money.”
Ramaphosa says that the leadership of the Solidarity Fund has acceded to his request to make its capacity available to confront the disaster presented by the floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.