The DA welcomes the announcement by the Minister of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Zweli Mkhize, that the drought that has gripped the country has been declared a national disaster.
For the past 2 years the DA has called for the water crisis to be declared a national disaster. However, due to the ANC’s internal issues, these calls fell on deaf ears.
Last month the water crisis, affecting the Western Cape, Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape, was re-classified a national disaster.
All that was left was for the Cabinet to declare the national disaster, after a briefing from the National Disaster Management Centre, which would trigger the release of the much-needed funds to the affected provinces.
The declaration of the national disaster unlocks disaster relief funds which will assist in dealing with this crisis. That is why, we welcome this announcement but also question why it took so long.
Now that Minister Mkhize has confirmed that the water crisis will be responded to with greater urgency, the special disaster funds must be released urgently and the national government must support efforts to mitigate the water crisis especially in the hardest hit provinces such as the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.