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National Treasury says Special Appropriation Bill for KZN floods not on cards yet

Damage caused by floods in KZN. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Damage caused by floods in KZN. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published May 3, 2022

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Cape Town - The National Treasury has indicated there was no need for a Special Appropriation Bill for KwaZulu-Natal floods because there are already funds allocated through various systems of government.

Mampho Modise, senior official in the treasury, told the standing committee on appropriations on Tuesday they had already allocated R1 billion to deal with floods in KZN.

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There will be other funds allocated to deal with the issue during the course of the year.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had also announced there will be various resources and more funds thrown into KZN after the floods led to the loss of life and damage to infrastructure.

Parliament has set up a special committee to oversee the use of funds in the province.

The president has deployed thousands of soldiers in the search and rescue operations.

More than 430 people have died and billions are needed to fix houses, bridges, roads, infrastructure and damaged businesses.

Modise told MPs the budget that was allocated this year takes into consideration the issue of floods.

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“The budget in its current form takes into consideration the floods. We have the Disaster Management Act that was drafted for disasters. When KZN experienced a disaster it wasn’t a shock to the system, it wasn’t something that we cannot deal with. We have been dealing with disasters for some time now.

“There are different ways in which disaster is going to be funded. The first thing is that the municipalities, their financial year ends in June and it doesn’t end in March like a normal department or province. Therefore they can use some of the money that was allocated for the grant to augment some of the funding that was needed for the disaster. We have allocated money for human settlements and co-operative governance and traditional affairs in terms of the disaster grant and that is a billion.

“Thirdly, the financial year has just started, it’s only a month. The departments have sufficient amounts to basically move some of the funding that is appropriated to deal with the disaster,” said Modise.

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She also said the chief procurement officer in the National Treasury has issued regulations to departments where they clarify how they can deal with disasters and what condonation and exemptions they need.

“Chairperson, despite these re-prioritisations we are doing, if the money is not sufficient the departments can certainly apply for unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure, which is something we consider around June or July. We are going to get those applications. We are going to use the contingency reserves to basically deal with the funding requests. For now we don’t foresee us as National Treasury coming with the Special Appropriation Bill given the mechanisms that already exist in place to deal with disaster funding,” said Modise.

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