KZN flood relief donor account gets over R3.6m

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Over R3.6 million has been donated through a dedicated bank account opened by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government towards the rebuilding process following the floods.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, on Tuesday said as at 1 June 2022, the donor account had R3 625 960 in total, with R100 000 specifically earmarked for the Department of Health.

“An amount of R3 million is set aside for education, mainly the fixing of four schools, while R500 000 from the government of Qatar will be allocated to the Department of Social Development.

“We wish to acknowledge the generous donations we have received from major donors such as the government of the United Arab Emirates, Spirit Ambassadors International Church and Sasol.

“Harmony Gold pledged an amount of R600 000, which is not yet in the donor account, as well as relief supplies donated by Harmony Gold employees in solidarity with the flood victims. We wish to thank all the donors for lending a helping hand to the people in their time of need,” Zikalala said.

Explaining the processing involved in accessing the funds, which have been earmarked for the disaster by National Treasury, Zikalala said that while National Treasury has indicated that short-term immediate humanitarian relief is available to the tune of R1.018 billion, the funds are earmarked for disasters that may occur in the whole country during the 2022/23 financial year. 

He confirmed that that there is no outstanding application from the province either for short-term humanitarian support or long-term reconstruction, and all the applications have been submitted to National Government via the National Disaster Management Centre.

“Our provincial Disaster Management Centre has made an application to the National Disaster Management Centre for short-term humanitarian relief support to the tune of R100 billion. Further to this, the province has made a request for R12.656 billion for the municipal response and R5.157 billion for the provincial response.

“This brings the total applied for to R17.813 billion for KZN sector departments and municipal damages. The province has received acknowledgements to this effect, with independent verification of our application having been done by the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) and the Department of Water and Sanitation specialist engineers,” Zikalala explained.

In the meantime, he said all provincial government departments are reprioritising their budgets in order to aid the funding of the recovery process.

“In aggregate terms, our provincial departments are planning to reprioritise R3.652 billion towards the disaster, with these funds coming mainly from conditional grants under the Departments of Transport and Human Settlements.

“Further non- infrastructure related funding including support to business is coming from [the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs],” he said. 

Insured properties not covered by emergency funding 

The Premier noted that the grant framework for emergency funding does not allow the release of funding for properties that are insured.

He said while most municipalities have insurance cover, their covers are not sufficient and comprehensive enough for the magnitude of the disaster experienced by the province.

“The implications are that if government applies the existing principles of the grant framework, municipalities will not be able to adequately fix all the damage that has been incurred. It is against this background that we are raising the need for a review of the legislative regime of disasters.”

Zikalala said the province’s internal audit is working with the Auditor-General’s Office to conduct audits at the provincial Departments of Education, Transport, Human Settlements, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Social Development, with physical verification of Temporary Residential Units also having commenced. –