DURBAN - President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Parliament today to address the devastating impact of the floods on KwaZulu-Natal and to outline his plans to provide assistance as the humanitarian crisis unfolds.
Opposition parties who spoke to The Mercury have outlined what they think Ramaphosa should prioritise:
- The IFP has called on the president to establish a survivors’ fund for all the families who had lost loved ones during the devastating storms.
IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said the trauma of losing loved ones would take a long time to heal.
He said the Mdlalose family, who lost 10 family members, was an example of the utter devastation brought on by the rains.
“They lost everything and it will take time for life to go back to normal. The president must set up the fund to help them and others, it must be a priority issue.”
He said it was important to know who had lost relatives and for a database to be created so people could be assisted as the emotional toll would be long lasting. Hlabisa said those homeowners and businesses that were uninsured, also needed relief.
- EFF called for land to be expropriated so it could be used for the displaced
EFF provincial leader Vusi Khoza said families that had their homes destroyed and had been displaced were in need of land to resettle on.
He said land should be expropriated and that those who had been living on flood plains should be allowed to live in areas that were not prone to the ravages of climate change.
“This land can be made available to people through expropriation. He said people should be given priority over developers, sugar plantation owners and speculators and that land must be made available for settlement to eliminate informal settlements.”
Khoza also said access to water needed to be prioritised as some residents of the province had been without water for 12 days.
- The DA called for time lines for the restoration of water and electricity to affected communities
DA provincial leader Francois Rodgers said Ramaphosa must provide a plan with time lines to restore essential services to devastated communities who don’t have water or electricity.
Rodgers also raised concerns about the funding from the national treasury, saying Ramaphosa needs to outline the steps that will be taken to ensure that the money is spent for its intended purpose.