No budget allocation for drought in Free State - provincial Treasury

2016-03-08 18:16
(Supplied to News24)

(Supplied to News24)

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Bloemfontein – The Free State has not made funds available for drought relief in the 2016/17 financial year, CEO of the provincial Treasury Godfrey Mahlatsi told News24 on Tuesday.

"In terms of drought relief, provinces will have to request money from national Treasury as and when the need arises," Mahlatsi said.

About R137m was preserved by the national treasury to deal with the effects of disasters.

The Free State made a provision of R37m to assist drought-stricken farmers in the current financial year.

A further allocation of R5m was tabled before the legislature by Finance MEC Elzabe Rockman, through a special budget adjustment process.

"The reality is that there were situations where some towns did not have water at all. We have had situations where farmers had to sell their stocks at very low prices because they could not feed them and farmers could not grow their crops."

Last month, during the State of the Province Address, Premier Ace Magashule said the devastating drought experienced in the province had affected the socio-economic climate.

Apart from job losses, the drought had also led to increased food inflation.

Magashule said, for the first time in years, the country would have to import maize from other countries.

Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga have been declared drought disaster areas.

Read more on:    bloemfontein

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