Flood Committee satisfied with clarity on R1bn allocation

Monday, July 4, 2022

The Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery says it is satisfied with the clarification made on the R1 billion that was made available for the flood disaster in the KwaZulu-Natal.

This comes after the Ad Hoc Joint Committee held a meeting on Friday with the Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana.

 The meeting included the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, Deputy Ministers of Water and Sanitation, Dikeledi Magadzi, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Human Settlements, the Premiers of KwaZulu-Natal and North West, as well as the MECs of COGTA and Human Settlements from the affected provinces.

“National Treasury clarified that the money is available. However, there is a challenge with the application process for that money. The committee was also pleased with the clarification that the main challenge for National Treasury is the lack of coordination between the various spheres of government when applying for the funding,” the committee said in a statement.

The Committee said that it was briefed by the National Treasury during the meeting about the grants it has allocated thus far in response to the flood disaster.

“National Treasury informed the committee that it has approved R87.4 million provincial and municipal disaster response grants to six municipalities in KZN.

“It has also approved R325.8 million in provincial emergency housing grant in KZN and R16.6 million in municipal emergency housing grant for Alfred Nzo municipality to fund the provision of temporary shelters for 258 destitute households.

“R8.3 million has been transferred and the municipality will be required to spend at least 80 per cent of this amount before the second tranche can be disbursed,” the committee said.

The committee was also informed that approved reprioritisation of conditional grants included for immediate response included R65 million for water services infrastructure for hiring of water tankering in EThekwini, Ugu and iLembe district municipalities.

The committee said that R41.3 million was also approved for the reprioritisation of the municipal infrastructure grant in KZN.

“Other initiatives to provide immediate relief funding include R189 million for an Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant to KZN, R105.7 million in Human Settlements Development conditional grant payments to the Eastern Cape and R733 million in Human Settlements Development conditional grant payments to KZN,” the committee said.

The committee has further asked all three spheres of government to provide metrics of how government is responding to the disaster on all levels to mitigate silos approach to the work, which has contributed to the confusion on funding.

The committee said that it plans to finalise its preliminary report in order to assist in the challenges it has seen after it visited all three affected provinces and engaged all relevant stakeholders.

After the finalisation and tabling of the preliminary report, the committee will then request progress reports from the affected provinces to ascertain their response to the disaster after the committee’s intervention.

Thereafter, the committee said it will also invite the Auditor-General to present reports on the special audit it is conducting on the flood disaster of which the information will form part of the committee’s final report. – SAnews.gov.za