Parliament, Wednesday, 18 November 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is deeply concerned about the plight of rural communities affected by the tornado that hit OR Tambo District Municipality. The tornado was accompanied by strong winds, heavy downpours and lightning, which destroyed schools, places of worship, livestock, homes and electricity infrastructure. The Mthatha airport building was also affected.
Rural communities are always severely impacted by natural disasters, as they already suffer from poverty, inequality and under-development. This makes it so much more difficult for them to deal with natural disasters and increases their dependency on the state, civil society, relief and philanthropic agencies, said the Chairperson of the portfolio committee, Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandela.
The committee calls on Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to invoke the Disaster Management Act so that appropriate remedial action can be taken and much-needed emergency assistance can reach the affected communities.
The committee also calls on Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza, to assist those affected in this rural area. Many have lost their homesteads, crops and livestock, and the most vulnerable are now left even more devastated.
Nkosi Mandela appeals to philanthropic champions and ordinary South Africans, who never fail to come to the aid of communities in distress, to open their hearts and support relief initiatives.
The Chairperson said: “We are defined as a nation by how we respond to the plight of others in their deepest hour of need and when they are most vulnerable. We must ensure that we combine our efforts to assist those in need during this time.”
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, INKOSI ZWELIVELILE MANDELA.
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