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Interventions taking place in KZN following floods, says Gungubele

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 24, 2022

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Cape Town - Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele on Monday has said there is a series of interventions in KwaZulu-Natal following the recent floods.

“One thing we have seen as interventions take place is capacity gaps in a number of areas,” Gungubele told the parliamentary committee on floods.

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He has acknowledged that one of the challenges is that the government has not been ready in terms of its response to the floods that affected the KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and North West in April.

“We are trying to catch up with all the gaps we discovered so far as our readiness is concerned,” he said.

Godfrey Mashamba, deputy director general in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, has said despite the humanitarian needs, there is damage to property business, as well as issues of fuel shortages.

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“Problems remain in psycho-social challenges to help the people cope with the circumstances,” Mashamba said.

In a presentation by the department, MPs have heard that the department has issued a draft budget framework within which the disaster needs to be addressed.

The department has issued a circular to provide guidance on the revision and re-tabling of annual performance plans and strategic plans, where appropriate.

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“The purpose of revising and re-tabling the plans is to incorporate the interventions and adjusted 2022-23 budget allocations in response to the impact of the floods disaster,” read a presentation to the committee.

It says national Treasury has made available R1 billion and that the existing disaster response grants can also be utilised once disaster is declared in consultation with it and the National Disaster Management Centre.

“Significant additional funding will have to go through an adjustment budget. It is thus advised that the annual performance plans only be revised once project plans and funding mechanisms are confirmed.”

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The presentation states that the department can indicate if they have undertaken reprioritisation of funding.

DA MP Dean McPherson said the cost of the disaster was essentially left out to reprioritisation of the budget.

“There is no new money as I can see or understand from the presentation to the province.

“If that is the case the government must admit that there is going to be a heavy toll on the front line services, particularly health and education if money is to be reprioritised to deal with infrastructure and housing.

“What is the point or the goal of a national state disaster if it is not to make contingency funding available and if it is about reprioritising the budget?” McPherson asked.

He has charged that there is disconnect to what the public has been made to believe from comments by President Cyril Ramaphosa that there will be R1bn for disaster relief.

But, Gungubele has said, he knows undoubtedly that Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has said there is a R1bn in contingency, which is in the coffers of the national Treasury.

“This is a fact, not a theory,” he said.

“The minister would have said departments with infrastructure that whenever there is budget allocation, there is a portion for a contingency situation for disaster.

“Once that is done and finished they are expected to access the R1bn,” Gungubele said.

He also said there was a calculation that was going on to give an assessment of multi billion to the costs to deal with disaster relief measures.

“I hope the Treasury will articulate better than I did on Wednesday,” Gungubele said about a meeting of the ad hoc committee where the national Treasury was expected to make a presentation.

Cape Times

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