Drought declared a national disaster

Cape Town - Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize has declared the prevailing water crisis affecting multiple provinces a national state of disaster.

Mkhize, on behalf of the inter-ministerial task team on water, told the media in Parliament on Tuesday that his decision was gazetted as at 10:00 this morning.

Government previously reclassified the water crisis as a national disaster on February 8.

However, this was different to a declaration. Government can now finally access special funds through Treasury reserved for national disasters.

The process to calculate how much will be released has begun and the figure will be announced at a later date, Mkhize said.

"As the minister responsible for disaster management, I have recognised that special circumstances exist, and have decided to declare the drought as a national state of disaster in terms of Section 27 of the Disaster Management Act," he said.

Mkhize called on all citizens to continue to save water and change behaviour, as South Africa is currently a water scarce country.

There was R6bn allocated for disaster relief in the 2018/19 budget, which was separate to the funds still to be allocated through the special process.

A short-term relief grant for provinces was also announced during the budget, amounting to R501m, which will also be accessed.

READ MORE: R6bn in the budget, and more is coming - Mkhize

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.57
+1.0%
Rand - Pound
19.66
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.71
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.15
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,853.66
0.0%
Silver
22.12
0.0%
Palladium
2,076.50
0.0%
Platinum
956.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
119.43
+1.7%
Top 40
63,883
+1.4%
70,486
+1.4%
Resource 10
76,948
+0.6%
Industrial 25
76,115
+1.3%
Financial 15
16,257
+2.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE