Treasury releases R372 million for municipalities affected by extreme weather

Floods in Strand as Heavy rains and winds continue to lash Western Cape. Pictures: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Floods in Strand as Heavy rains and winds continue to lash Western Cape. Pictures: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 10, 2024


National Treasury has released R372 million from the Municipal Disaster Response Grant (MDRG) in order to assist municipalities affected by floods and adverse weather conditions.

This is in addition to government allowing the allocation of R1.8 billion for the 2023/24 financial year to help provinces that have been hit by natural disasters.

Over the last week, the Western Cape was hit hard by heavy winds and rain that has led to a number of structures being destroyed, roof being blown off and trees being up rooted.

Over the weekend, torrid winds led to a truck trailer being blown off the N1 as it approached the Huguenot Tunnel, just outside Paarl. This was just one many incidents due to the inclement weather.

On Sunday, the Western Cape Government announced the closure of schools in the Overberg, Cape Winelands and Helderberg on Monday and Tuesday due to a Level 9 warning from the SA Weather Services. The severe weather affected around 406 schools and nearly 270,000 learners.

The Western Cape is not isolated when it comes to extreme weather conditions. Areas in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape have also been hit with heavy rain that has led to floods.

Where will the money go?

In response to these disasters, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Thembi Nkadimeng said that the funds are earmarked to facilitate urgent repairs, reconstruction, and infrastructure rehabilitation.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Minister Thembi Nkadimeng. Picture: GCIS

“The focus is to ensure access to clean, reliable water and essential government facilities for affected communities,” Nkadimeng said.

On Tuesday, the minister released details of the funds disbursed to municipalities and provinces for disaster interventions.

She said that 199 projects across various municipalities in seven provinces have been approved, with a total allocation of R372,001,000.

Nkadimeng said that this includes 65 projects in KwaZulu-Natal, 36 in the Eastern Cape, 30 in the Western Cape, 29 in Free State, 19 in Mpumalanga, 18 in Limpopo, and two in the North West.

The minister said that the allocation of disaster grants comes with stringent reporting and compliance measures to ensure there is transparency and accountability.

“Organs of state are mandated to submit monthly, quarterly, and annual reports to the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), covering both financial and non-financial aspects of their disaster management initiatives,” she added.

Nkadimeng said that in addition the NDMC, Provincial Disaster Management Centres (PDMC), Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA), and relevant sector departments will conduct site visits to municipalities on a regular basis.

“Through these concerted efforts, we strive to ensure that projects are completed efficiently and that affected communities receive the necessary support to recover and thrive,” she emphasised.

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