SA’s drought declared a national disaster
An interministerial task team on drought and water scarcity has declared the country’s drought a national disaster.
The drought has had a devastating effect on the Free State, the Eastern Cape, the Northern Cape and parts of KwaZulu-Natal, with the Western Cape worst affected.
The Northern Cape, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape had already declared provincial disasters.
Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane said her meetings with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille regarding the drought and interventions in the Western Cape were productive and fruitful.
There are licences where we had to sit with, four licences were issued in the space of a month.
Another three dam licences were issued before December," she said.
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen said national government interventions would include drilling boreholes, water restrictions, providing animal feed, desalination, reuse optimisation and regular water-use warning messages.
"In addition, an amount of R74.8m was given to the Western Cape province in August 2017 to deal with the situation.
The only challenge is the slow pace of using the allocated funding that is geared to alleviate the impact of drought on particular sectors," said Van Rooyen.
The belt-tightening exercises of the government meant the disaster grants had to do more with less in the aftermath of the drought, he said.