Statement of the Study Group on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Flood Disaster Intervention
15 May 2023
The African National Congress’ study group on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has noted the malicious accusation by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in a statement issued by the DA Shadow Minister of COGTA, Eleanore Bouw-Spies (MP). The dishonourable Member has disgraced herself and her party by suggesting that “ANC connected cadres shamelessly profited from the misery of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape flood victims”. This statement is an electioneering and attention-seeking ploy to mislead the public.
The national and provincial governments have handled the unfortunate natural disaster in a humane and caring manner. The ANC in Parliament advanced the establishment of a Parliamentary Ad-Hoc Committee to specifically focus on the flood disaster and to maintain oversight of interventions.
The government deployed real-time audits to curb the risk of corruption and mismanagement. The Auditor General South Africa (AGSA) has acknowledged the ongoing good work done by the government. The AG appreciated and noted progress on:
- The social relief system delivered 99 500 hot meals and 10 894 food vouchers.
- 254 Temporary Residential Units were constructed.
- 198 water tankers used to provide water tanker services to affected communities.
- The establishment and activation of national and provincial committees showed commitment by the government to coordinate, oversee and monitor the relief efforts and the use of funds.
- The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) government implemented pre-audit processes to reduce the risk of procurement irregularities.
- Payments were withheld where AGSA identified poor-quality delivery or procurement risks to avoid losses.
The AGSA found that the slow response was the main challenge and that this is a result of pre-existing challenges in the state. The emergency only exacerbated them. The main challenges are a lack of capacity, inadequate project management, and ineffective monitoring to ensure contractors complete projects on time and deliver quality goods and services. These are currently being attended within the framework of the District Development Model and the professionalisation of the state.
The Department committed to the COGTA Portfolio Committee in the National Assembly on 09 May 2023 that it would meet with the affected municipalities and improve its response, and accelerate interventions for the people living in disaster-affected areas. The first real-time audit work by the AGSA will be ongoing to secure public funds. The ANC will support these efforts to help our communities overcome the crisis they find themselves in.
The ANC finds it unfortunate and inconsiderate of the plight of the victims of the floods that the DA saw an opportunity to use the disaster as an electioneering tool for 2024 without contributing to solutions.
Working with all the relevant stakeholders, the ANC study group will ensure that there will be progress to improve the implementation of relief programmes for greater impact.
ISSUED BY THE ANC STUDY GROUP: COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS
Dikeledi Direko ANC (MP)
Whip of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Tel: 073 472 6526