Government lifts national drought state of disaster

2018-06-13 19:04
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize. (Leon Sadiki, Gallo Images)

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize. (Leon Sadiki, Gallo Images)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize on Wednesday announced that the national state of disaster over drought had lapsed and would not be renewed, but the Western Cape remains a provincial disaster.

"I have decided not to renew the state of the national drought disaster when it lapses on 13 June, 2018," Mkhize said in a statement.

ALSO READ: National disaster management donates R42m to Northern Cape farmers crippled by drought

The national state of disaster was declared in March, following concern over a drought which was affecting most parts of South Africa.

Mkhize said the declaration had led to various interventions being initiated by different spheres of government.

"The respective spheres of government mobilised and reprioritised resources in their existing allocations, expedited procurement processes and accessed R433.524m from the respective disaster grants to implement the augmentation and other immediate relief projects," said Mkhize.

Entering 'resilience-building phase'

Of this money, Mkhize said R348.8m had been transferred during the 2017/18 financial year and R84.67m would be transferred from the provincial disaster grant during the 2018/19 financial year.

In May, the National Joint Drought Coordinating Committee (NJDCC) conducted assessments that showed that the acute phase of the drought in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape was at its end and was now entering the "resilience-building phase".

Mkhize said the resilience-building phase was currently the key focus in dealing with drought, as a concern for adaptation to climate change.

ALSO READ: Drought disaster: R6bn in the budget, and more is coming - Mkhize

"This entails, among others, improving the identification, funding, coordination and management of resilience-building projects aimed at increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to drought."

He said the NJDCC would broaden its focus beyond the continual monitoring of resilience-building projects. This would include focused projects, funded from the allocations of the respective organs of state, in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework aimed at the identification and implementation of disaster risk reduction projects.

"The existing classification of a national disaster remains in force with the implication that the national executive would still be responsible for the coordination of the drought interventions," Mkhize said.

Western Cape drought 

Cogta spokesperson Legadima Leso said the drought in the Western Cape remains a provincial disaster. He said the national status had been lifted but that did not mean the processes and coordination in terms of drought funding would be discontinued. 

"The state of national disaster has been lifted because all the funding and planned interventions have been implemented and some are continuing to be implemented across the country but Western Cape's classification still remains."  

Last week local government, environmental affairs and development planning MEC in the Western Cape Anton Bredell said dam levels were increasing but warned that the drought was still far from over. 

"Most major dams in the Western Cape are showing slight increases. The Voëlvlei dam (25.5% full this week), the Theewaterskloof dam (20.8% full this week) and the Bergriver Dam (53% full this week) are all showing slight improvements. It's also good to see Clanwilliam Dam at 20.4%. A few weeks ago the dam was below 6%.

"A lot more rain is needed before the end of the winter season," Bredell said. 

Read more on:    cogta  |  zweli mkhize  |  cape town  |  drought  |  water crisis  |  service delivery

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.