DURBAN - THE ANC caucus in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature has called on government departments to be humane and kind when they start tabling their budgets today.
Premier Sihle Zikalala will deliver his budget policy presentation, followed by the provincial treasury and the transport department.
The ANC chief whip at the legislature, Super Zuma, pleaded for
“reasonable, robust and frank debates as the province might face challenges financially due to the need to prioritise flood victims and rebuilding of infrastructure”.
He said they were appealing for an increase in the budgets of the Health, Education and Human Settlement departments.
“We have noted the maturity displayed by some opposition parties
during these trying times and we hope constructive criticism continues to make us work towards a better life for all,” Zuma said.
The flood disaster saw more than 430 lives lost, at least 63 still missing and communities have been left grieving and struggling.
Zikalala said this week that 6 814 people were currently homeless as a result of the disaster, 19 113 households had been affected indirectly impacting on the lives of 128743 people.
He said the Department of Social Development, South African Social Security Agency and the Department of Co-operative Governance and
Traditional Affairs are continuing with profiling those in need, the provision of psychosocial services and food vouchers.
The floods caused significant infrastructure damage with estimates of more than R1.9 billion needed for disaster relief interventions.
Roads were damaged or destroyed with the N2 in Umkomaas and
Umgababa needing temporary construction of a detour until the repairs are finalised.
Some areas of the province are still without water and temporary shelters such as halls, churches and schools are being used to provide relief to 4 396 families.
At least 630 schools were damaged with 124 seriously damaged and 72 inaccessible. The provincial education department will send 98 mobile classrooms to those areas to ensure that teaching and learning continues.
“Devastated by floods under the siege of the Covid-19 pandemic, KwaZulu-
is faced with the hardest decision as we rebuild.
“The caucus acknowledges the challenges faced by the government, however, appeals to departments not to compromise the downtrodden toiling masses of our kingdom.
“The budgets should speak to basic needs of the people of KwaZulu-Natal,” Zuma said.
He said the ANC caucus was also urging the public to support the government in its efforts to rebuild infrastructure and stabilise the lives of the people in the province.
Zikalala earlier this week said they wanted projects to be completed in record time so that life could return to normal for the tens of thousands that had been affected.