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Eastern Cape currently has R154 million for drought relief, to approach govt

Nov 21, 2019
Eastern Cape currently has R154 million for drought relief, to approach govt

Bhisho - At its Special Meeting on Wednesday, the Executive Council of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government received an update on the status of the drought mitigation program being implemented in the province and tasked Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, to engage national government on funding. 

"The EXCO received reports from the Eastern Cape departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogtaand Department Of Rural Development And Agrarian Reform (DRDAR)," described the Premier's Spokesperson, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha.

"The two main departments tasked with drought mitigation programme on the work being done to provide drought relief to households and farmers."

He added that the combined budget for drought relief is R154 million.

"R80 million has been used by COGTA for provision of water to households through drilling, equipping boreholes, water treatment package plant, ground water package plant storage, purchasing of water carting trucks, purification system, water tanks in all affected district and local municipalities of the province."

Sicwetsha added that out of the total R154 million, R74 million is being used for purchasing livestock feed like hay, maize and water for livestock in all the district municipalities of the province.

"This money was redirected from other budget items of the department to provide immediate drought relief to livestock farmers and livestock owners."

Sicwetsha said that the EXCO resolved that: 

A) The water provision functions of COGTA and DRDAR must be clearly differentiated in the plans to avoid duplication.
B) The drought mitigation plans must include infrastructure maintenance procedures.
C) A detailed report would be brought to the Executive Council meeting on 27 November 2019 on the status of work being done by the two departments.
D) The report must also include work being done by municipalities and other relevant government departments. 
F) The Premier will engage with Ministers, Lindiwe Sisulu and Thoko Didiza, to request their assistance on drought disaster relief, and this letter must include details of how much money the province had available and how much it needed.

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