Concerns have been voiced that the flood catastrophe relief and recovery in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is likely to cost at least R25 billion. Government officials informed Parliament’s ad-hoc joint committee on flood catastrophe aid and recovery on Monday. The province suffered fresh rains on Saturday, following last month’s disastrous floods which took over 440 lives and left a trail of ruin.
National Council of Provinces (NCOP) MP Tim Brauteseth said the recovery is likely to cost a lot more than the R1 billion which was authorized – and yet to be disbursed – by Treasury as a relief effort in the aftermath of the floods. “The fact is that the recovery is going to cost a lot more than that chairwoman, possibly in the region of R17 billion, that’s the estimate, and R25 billion if private homes are included.”
Brauteseth said there has also been “confusion” regarding where this money will come from. He said there must be a complete disclosure to the South African people regarding the money, which would assist restore the trust deficit if there is a definite commitment from Cabinet. “[KZN] clearly doesn’t have that money, I mentioned this in the NCOP yesterday. The deputy president yesterday gave an official assurance that the gap will be met by government. So, basically a programme of work needs to include where the additional financing is going to come from.”
“We literally cannot allow the KZN province and the Eastern Cape province and the municipalities concerned hanging out to dry. We need to find cash from the contingency fund or wherever they can, from the national side to assist in this recovery because all the good intentions will come to naught if we don’t have the funding available to actually get it right,” said Brauteseth. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP and committee member Ntombovuyo Veronica Mente said the success of Parliament’s ad-hoc joint committee on flood disaster relief and recovery depended on all members agreeing to have the best interests for the people impacted by the floods.
Earlier the KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance Department declared that the 48 persons remaining missing following the catastrophic floods were now considered dead.
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