As Premier of KwaZulu-Natal and in the interest of transparency and accountability, I have taken the opportunity to provide an account to the Provincial Legislature of the funding of the government’s response to the disaster that accompanied the floods of April 2022 in the province and left over 400 people dead.
FUNDING MADE AVAILABLE BY NATIONAL TREASURY
Following the declaration of the national state of disaster by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa on 18 April 2022, on 07 July 2022 National Treasury and COGTA reiterated that disaster relief funds in the amount of R 1 billion were available as emergency relief. This amount has for some time been the subject of political and public interest, owing mainly to a lack of understanding of how disaster funding is managed in government.
Disaster funds are distributed across two phases which supports emergency relief, and to fund the recovery and repair.
In the statement of 07 July 2022, Minister of Finance Mr Enoch Godongwana indicated that the disaster relief funds were available from four Schedule 7 grants in the Division of Revenue Act 2022 which was for 2022/23 financial year.
National Treasury also stated that in addition to the disaster relief funds above, existing resources could be redirected towards tackling the damage through the advancement and reprioritisation of provincial and municipal conditional grants.
The process to be followed to access these funds is for provinces and municipalities to submit applications for funding through the relevant Provincial Disaster Management Centre, which then submits these applications to the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) to assess and recommend to the National Treasury for amounts to be released.
Provincial and municipal housing emergency grants are processed by the national Department of Human Settlements which recommends to the National Treasury the amount of funding to be released.
Where longer-term infrastructure rehabilitation and recovery costs are not covered by these grants and through the reprioritisation of budgets, these are processed through the normal Budget and the Adjustment Budget, as unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure, or as part of the 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework. There is no other funding accrued to the province except through these recognised channels.
ALLOCATED FUNDING SO FAR
Having made the necessary applications as the province, National Treasury approved among others the reallocation of R 42 887 000 from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant of the 2021/2022 financial year,and approved the payment for the Human Settlements Development Grant and the Informal Settlement Upgrading Grant for KwaZulu-Natal at R 733m and R189m respectively.
The total amount approved for the Department of Transport was R 2 910 890 588. Between June and September 2022 National Treasury, through the National Disaster Management Centre transferred atotal of R 645 798 999,82 to deal with the emergency repairs to the critical municipal infrastructure.
In March 2023, National Treasury further allocated R2,964 448 601,02 from the Municipal Disaster Recovery Grant also known as the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Grant, to municipalities for the permanent repairs and rehabilitation of affected infrastructure.
TOTAL APPROVED AND SPENDING SO FAR
In total therefore, following the Presidents declaration,National Treasury has committed and approved R7 486 025 189.02 from various sources to support theProvince of KwaZulu-Natal to deal with damages from the April 2022 flooding.
Against this total, at the end of March this year, orders to the value of R 1 752 743 130 had been issued by the Department of Transport, Human Settlements R 239 283 182, Public Works R23 309 243, Education R18 832 834, Social Development R 7 054 636, Health R 3 741 531, COGTA R 2 317 459, Sport, Arts and Culture R 2 191 046, Treasury R 1 213 815, EDTEA R9 978m, and the Office of The Premier R3 757 388million. This means the Grand Total of issued contracts in respect of the April 2022 Floods Disaster at 31 March 2023, stands at R 2 054 454 243.
Out of this I am pleased to note that the procurement spend on Black People is R 1 336 851 259, on Black Women R 530 498 187, on Military Veterans R22 453 853, on Youth R 546 738 798 and on People with Disabilities the government has spent R 3 393 950.
ADDITIONAL DONOR FUNDING
In addition to the government funds, the province also received R 10.320 million in donor funds which wasspent as follows:
Vote 1 (OTP) – R 2.670;
Vote 5 (Education) – R 3 million;
Vote 7 (Health) – R100K
Vote 8 (Human Settlements) – R 2.275 million;
Vote 13 – (Social Development) – R 2.275; million
We also wish to state categorically that most municipal emergency repairs to critical damaged infrastructure which started in June 2022 have now been completed or are near completion. The exception is KwaDukuza Local Municipality and eThekwini Metro which are currently 35% and 56% respectively. Other municipalities are currently busy with the implementation of permanent repairs through Reconstruction and Rehabilitation grants which were received in mid-March 2023.
On behalf of the government and people of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal I wish to express our sincereappreciation of the excellent leadership provided by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa who ensured in the spirit of a unitary government and the District Development Model, that national government walks this entire journey with us as we emerge from the unprecedented and tragic events of April 2022.
The April 2022 floods left major damage to our infrastructure and property, and this will require time and working together to finally put this disaster behind us. We must remember this as a tragic event in our history that left at least 455 people dead, and 4700 displaced. We pay our deepest condolences to those who tragically passed away in this disaster.
We should however also choose to remember this as a moment in which the people of KwaZulu-Natal were called to rise together and we did, to work together across political lines and we did, to defeat silos and we did, to call on our spirit of resilience and we did. Despite the heavy battering our province is back on its feet thanks to the resilience of our people and the assuring support of our national government, Non-Governmental Organisations, the Private Sector and friends on our continent and abroad.
We are a province that is moving forward, Believe it.
I thank you.
Issued by the Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal