DA urges COGTA Minister to act swiftly as KZN flood crisis exposes alarming preparedness gaps

Issued by Jacques Smalle MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA)
29 Dec 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Jacques Smalle MP

The DA calls on the Minister of COGTA to immediately intervene due to the lack of implementation by the KwaZulu-Natal government regarding a basic risk assessment plan followed by contingency plans. Heavy rainfall has once again caused flooding, particularly affecting the areas of Ladysmith municipality in the province.

The KZN province disaster centre has only filled 18 out of its 50 posts, with 1 swift water technician for every 105,000 people and 1 firefighter for every 13,422 residents. Additionally, it has only 145 vehicles at its disposal.

The latest floods in Ladysmith tragically resulted in 6 fatalities with 12 individuals still missing. Once again, the ANC-led province has failed to develop and mitigate against high-risk flooding areas. Their lack of understanding of municipal water systems, sources of flooding, and the impact of pluvial flooding is once again affecting the lives and livelihoods of residents.

Questions raised in Parliament earlier this year by the DA (3220, 3646, and 3841) highlighted that the department has no knowledge of the level of expertise at its disposal (3646 (2c)), thus preventing appropriate and effective action when disaster strikes.

It’s essential to address these shortcomings promptly to ensure the safety and security of the affected communities in the face of natural disasters.