Flood disaster declaration welcomed
19 February 2021
The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the classification of the recent flood damages in the Northern Cape, caused by extreme weather conditions in the country, as part of a national disaster, as published in the Government Gazette on 12 February 2021.
Our initial plea for a provincial disaster to be declared was based on the significant destruction of farmland, roads, bridges and other infrastructure, that left entire communities cut off from the rest of the world.
While step one is now out of the way, we hope that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will allocate an adequate amount of relief funding to the Northern Cape when he presents his budget speech next week. People are already struggling enough due to Covid-19 and the crippling impact, therefore they need to be given the opportunity to get back to school and work.
The DA further appeals to all government structures to ensure that they learn from past mistakes made in the rollout of disaster funding. Aside from the corruption that engulfed Covid-19 disaster funding, we have also seen mismanagement of past allocations made in respect of the drought and the 2011 floods. The use of implementing agents, poorly administered application processes and even race-based approval criteria for relief funding not only resulted in wasteful and irregular expenditure, but also saw people in dire need being overlooked.
The DA will ask the legislature to prioritise the real-time oversight of flood relief expenditure, in addition to the current monitoring of Covid-19 expenditure.
Government has an opportunity to do something good for the people of the Northern Cape. They must make every cent count.
Issued by Harold McGluwa, DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader, 19 February 2021