Parliament, Thursday, 17 November 2022 – The Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery today adopted its final report. The committee was established in May 2022 to assess the extent of and response to the damages incurred in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, North-West and the Eastern Cape following the severe floods experienced in April and May 2022.
On 18 April 2022, a national state of disaster was declared in response to the severity and magnitude of these floods. The declaration was, in the main, meant to facilitate the release of the resources required to respond effectively to the disaster and to enable better disaster response coordination.
Since the impact of the flood damage was most severe in KwaZulu-Natal, the committee undertook a follow-up visit to the province from 23 to 25 August 2022. The main objective of the follow-up visit was to engage the province on matters raised during the committee’s oversight visit from 27 to 30 May 2022.
The committee also received briefings from the responsible national, provincial departments and entities, the affected municipalities, the Human Rights Commission and the Council for Geo Science. The committee also received a briefing from the Auditor-General of South Africa on the outcomes of its first round of real time audits, as at 31 July 2022. The briefing focused predominantly on KwaZulu-Natal, as the Eastern Cape post-disaster initiatives were lagging behind.
On 25 October 2022, the committee Co-Chairpersons undertook an unannounced visit to the Mount View Community Hall Shelter and observed that the living conditions had deteriorated and had become unsanitary. They were informed that government has stopped providing food and people are cooking their own food or receive meals from community church leaders.
Amongst its recommendations, the committee wants National Treasury to improve the support provided to disaster-impacted organs of state to facilitate timely and accurate submission of funding requests, and ensure the quality of submitted information is satisfactory.
The improvement needed in this regard is not only in respect of ensuring sufficient technical capacity to complete the forms, but also to relax the stringent regulatory environment in cognisance of the national state of disaster that has been declared. The committee will also refer several matters to the relevant parliamentary committees, so they can follow-up on the outstanding issues.
The committee wishes to express its appreciation of how the Minister of Public Enterprises assisted the Port of Durban, which was severely affected by the flood disaster, to return to full operation through the necessary interventions. The committee hopes that other relevant departments can offer the necessary support, so that the required service delivery can be given to the people who are negatively affected by this.
The adopted report will now be included in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports of Parliament. Thereafter, there will be a joint debate by both the National Assembly and the National Council of Province on the report.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CO-CHAIRPERSONS OF THE AD HOC JOINT COMMITTEE ON FLOOD DISASTER RELIEF AND RECOVERY, MR CEDRIC FROLICK AND MR JOMO NYAMBI.
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