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MPs set up ad hoc committee to oversee state of disaster in KZN

Members of the SA Air Force and SAPS recover a body 400m north of the Umlazi River mouth.

Members of the SA Air Force and SAPS recover a body 400m north of the Umlazi River mouth.

Published Apr 21, 2022

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Cape Town - Parliament has agreed to establish an ad hoc committee to oversee the work done on the state of disaster in KwaZulu-Natal.

Political parties had over the past few weeks urged the government to ensure that funds allocated for relief during floods in KZN are not misused or lost through corruption.

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Parties said the looting of Covid-19 funds revealed in probes by the Auditor-General, the Special Investigating Unit, the Hawks and other agencies should not be repeated in the state of disaster in KZN.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has roped in the Solidarity Fund to oversee some of the funds.

In his address to the nation this week, Ramaphosa said they would ensure that they cracked down on corruption.

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told the programming committee on Thursday that Ramaphosa would address Parliament on Tuesday on the floods in KZN and the Eastern Cape.

More than 440 people have lost their lives in KZN and damage to infrastructure has been estimated at over R5.6 billion.

The government has already set aside R1bn for relief efforts and more than 10 000 soldiers will be deployed to help in the search and rescue operations and fixing some of the damaged infrastructure.

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ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina also proposed that an ad hoc committee be established to oversee the state of disaster.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the floods in KZN came at a time when the country was recovering from Covid-19 and the July unrest.

“Given the tragic circumstances that confront us it is imperative that Parliament plays its part. In this regard I had to indicate to you that yesterday I received a letter from the president calling for a hybrid joint sitting on Tuesday, April 26. This is to ensure that the elected representatives of the people of our country can be directly involved in oversight of the work that is needed to provide relief. Secondly, a related issue is that on April 18 I received a letter from the chief whip of the majority party proposing the establishment of the ad hoc committee to exercise oversight on the state of disaster in KZN,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

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Political parties supported the establishment of the ad hoc committee. This will be a joint committee which will include members from both the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.

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