Assistance for KZN is welcome but must be for victims not cadres

Issued by Cilliers Brink MP – DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
19 Apr 2022 in News

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Cilliers Brink MP

The DA welcomes the assistance by national government to communities in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape devastated by last week’s floods. Many people have lost loved ones, their homes, their possessions and the most basic of services.

We will be making specific proposals to the Speaker of the National Assembly on how to strengthen the oversight powers of Parliament and prevent the abuse of power and public money under a national state of disaster.

Having ignored the DA’s proposals on how to prevent the abuse of disaster relief funds at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa would be well advised to listen what we have to say this time around.

The declaration of a national state of disaster is a confirmation of what DA public representatives have been telling us: there is no effective coordination of flood relief in especially KwaZulu-Natal, and widespread reports of abuse of public resources by the ANC in the wake of the disaster.

The health risks linked to an unstable supply of clean water and a lack of sanitation are high and we cannot afford a repeat of the PPE scandal where people’s lives were gambled while officials and cadres looted critical funding.

The DA is especially concerned the lack of drinking water in the Ethekwini metro, where two of the city’s reservoirs are no longer functional, and thousands of households rely on municipal water tankers. There are now widespread reports of ANC ward councillors commandeering these water tankers.

The La Mercy Civil and Ratepayers Association has even issued a statement in which it claims that Premier Sihle Zikalala has at his disposal the use of an entire water tanker, while many communities across the metro area do not have reliable access to drinking water.

What is needed now is a clear plan of how basic infrastructure is going to be restored, and how disaster relief will be managed in the meantime. Unfortunately, the President’s address (last night) did not include any of these details.