Parliament, Thursday, 11 August 2022 – The Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery today held a meeting with the departments of Social Development, Transport, Small Business Development and Public Enterprises to gain insight into what has been achieved so far towards alleviating the plight of communities severely affected by the floods, which battered parts of the country in April.
The committee is not satisfied with the lack of coordination and integrated plans to resolve the housing needs of those people displaced by the floods. The committee was informed of the inhumane conditions at some of the shelters, where children, women and men all sleep in one place. This poses a risk, as the women and children are vulnerable to all kinds of hazards, including gender-based violence.
The committee also wants the Department of Social Development to furnish it with a consolidated report on all donor funding received from various countries, the private sector and non-governmental organisations.
The committee was unhappy about the slow delivery of temporary residential units (TRUs), as this makes it difficult to address the housing backlog and results in the shelters being used longer than expected. The committee wants the Department of Human Settlements to accelerate the provision of TRUs, with the understanding that they are not a permanent solution, but only a temporary measure.
The committee noted the detailed focus on KwaZulu-Natal in the Department of Transport’s report, but a similar level of detail was lacking about the Eastern Cape and the North West. The committee expects the department to come back with a more detailed report on their interventions in these provinces.
The committee was also dissatisfied with the lack of detail in the presentation from the Department of Small Business Development on the disbursement of relief funds to beneficiaries. There was a concern that this lack of detail might lead to marginalized people not benefiting from the relief funds, as happened in the case of Covid-19. There was also a concern that applications for relief funds only opened in July, four months after the April floods. This reflects that there was no sense of urgency to respond to the declaration of a national state of disaster.
Meanwhile, the committee is encouraged with the report that the Port of Durban has been restored to full functionality, which has reconnected the country to the international trade economy. The committee also welcomed the report that Transnet has entered into an agreement with Ethekwini Metro Municipality for the upkeep of the Montclaire Lodge in Yellowwood Park, which is currently housing flood victims.
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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