DA unveils true state of disaster in KZN following recent floods

Issued by Francois Rodgers MPL – Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature
16 May 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Francois Rodgers MPL. The following statement and document on the “true state of disaster in KZN”, was presented earlier today at a press briefing by DA KZN Leader, Francois Rodgers, DA KZN Chairperson, Dean Macpherson, DA KZN Deputy Chairperson, Sithembiso Ngema, DA eThekwini Caucus Leader, Councillor Nicole Graham and DA eThekwini Chief Whip, Councillor Thabani Mthethwa. The document outlines the real state of our province following the devastating floods and the poor government intervention to assist desperate residents. View document here.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has today released an eight-page document revealing the true state of the province and eThekwini municipality following the devastating floods in April 2022.

It is very clear that officials and politicians are hiding the real crisis that is worsening every day.

More than one month after the flood, thousands of residents and communities across the city are still without water and have no idea when it will be fully restored. Electricity outages continue to plague households, despite the metro being exempt from load shedding.

When the President told the city, in the aftermath of the floods, that that R1 billion in relief funding would be made available, he knew at the time that this was not true.

This has become apparent after the KZN government admitted that this amount would have to be found through the reprioritisation of the provincial budget over the next three years.

When a National State of Disaster was declared in KZN, this should have ordinarily allowed access to funding from the contingency reserve fund. It appears that this has not happened. So where is the money and what was the purpose of the State of Disaster being declared?

It has also become very clear that national departments are unable or unwilling to assist in terms of funding for our province, as detailed in our document. This will have terrible consequences for KZN.

Whatever money is being spent, is solely being done within existing provincial and municipal budgets. It is also not being audited in “real time” as per the President’s promised.

KZN and eThekwini in particular, are facing a leadership crisis. There is no coordination that the DA can see. It is also unclear where the province’s disaster relief effort are being co-ordinated from or who is politically responsible for it.

eThekwini Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, has been largely absent throughout the disaster. So much so that the Deputy Mayor and opposition Executive Committee Councillors – that constitute a majority – had to force the Mayor to call an EXCO meeting after 16 days without one. You cannot lead a city from your basement and in hiding.

The DA has compiled a list of what needs to be done urgently;

• Parliament’s newly-established Ad hoc committee needs to urgently convene in KZN to meet with provincial government and the eThekwini Executive Committee to get a handle of what is and is not happening.

• National Treasury needs to advise departments, the province and city exactly how much funding will be set aside and when it will be available.

• The eThekwini EXCO need to take charge of the deteriorating situation in the city and meet on a regular basis to direct disaster efforts and;

• KZN’s government needs to lobby National Government for the release of contingency reserve funds to ensure that rebuilding our province can begin.

The DA believes that unless a concerted effort, across all spheres of government, is urgently enacted and funding from the contingency reserve is made available through the state of disaster, the province and city are going to face long term secondary disasters.

The time for action was four weeks ago. We cannot wait a day longer for a real action plan to be implemented.