KZN mayor welcomes probe into missing R200m drought aid

Drought-affected dam. (Werner Hills, Netwerk24, file)
Drought-affected dam. (Werner Hills, Netwerk24, file)

Durban - Nongoma local municipal Mayor Albert Mncwango welcomed the investigation by the KwaZulu-Natal agriculture department into an alleged R200m in drought aid that never materialised.

In addition to the R200m budgeted in the 2016/17 provincial budget, the R114m reprioritised during the 2015/16 budget also never arrived at the municipality, Mncwango said in a statement. 

"The tax payer needs to know what has happened to this money… Anyone who is found to have acted in a corrupt and unethical manner must be punished.

"Public funds are the horses they want to ride to the land of their dreams, but we cannot allow this to happen when our people are suffering."

READ: Authorities warn KZN still in drought danger

Mncwango said the rural municipality was the hardest hit by a severe drought in the province where people lost their livestock and most dams ran dry.

"The people of Nongoma were promised that dams will be built and that they will be compensated for the loss of livestock, but none of this has materialised even though huge amounts of money was set aside by the provincial government for drought relief.

"The citizens were promised that fields would be fenced, but even this has not happened so far. This makes us believe that we were being misled into believing that people will be assisted by the provincial government."

KwaZulu-Natal agriculture department spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana referred all inquiries to the provincial department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs. 

But the KwaZulu-Natal department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs spokesperson Lennox Mabaso in turn referred News24 to the agriculture department.

Mabaso said they could not comment as the investigation was being undertaken by the agriculture department.

Nongoma is an Inkatha Freedom Party led administration. 

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