Aug 10, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

KZN pleads with Treasury to assist with funds to fix key infrastructure

Sihle Zikalala, Prime Minister of KwaZulu-Natal on Friday expressed frustration at the speed at which insurance companies were processing flood claims, saying it was hampering much-needed repair work on the eThekwini subway.

“There is an output in eThekwini with insured objects or assets. It takes time for insurers to come to the party to help. The council has requested that the Ministry of Finance give him an advance and receive this money later when the insurers pay,” said Zikalala National Council of Provinces and the National Assembly.

Zikalala said he would like to work with the financial institutions to expedite the process, “because we believe we can have a process through the National Treasury that can be shorter to ensure we meet expectations.”

He said, “The Enormous damage in eThekwini will not be able to be repaired if we take this approach of not supporting uninsured assets because insurance companies, by their very nature, want to run their own processes fund, but you can advance to eThekwini and when that money is available we will return it. Even if it goes directly from the insurers to the Treasury, we urgently need to fix the damage.”

A presentation from the Treasury during the meeting showed that spending was relatively modest.

Applications for national disaster management funding were submitted to the national disaster management center and the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs on May 3. Funding requests included the cost of replacing the existing infrastructure and the cost of rebuilding with improved infrastructure to meet the need. The cost of better reconstruction is R7.8 billion.”

MPs were told that most of the water services in KwaZulu-Natal have been restored, but the restoration of sanitation has lagged behind.

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“The May storms set back recovery efforts, particularly for sewage work. The first round of disaster funding applications has been approved and there is an urgent need to accelerate additional rounds of disaster funding.”

The report noted that a number of donations were made to support the province.

In the Eastern Cape, an estimated R21,984,200 is needed to repair damaged infrastructure. The presentation noted that although Port St John’s was badly affected, the flooding was not as severe as in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Amathole District recently reported that its damage had been assessed by the technical team and have been verified. The provisional water supply by road tankers is underway, with some pumps already repaired and running in the affected areas.”

An estimated R3 million is needed in the North West.

Zikalala demanded Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana is considering releasing a statement clarifying the R1 billion pledge made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April.

The Sunday Times reported that KwaZulu-Natal and KwaZulu-Natal was not given R1 billion ‘immediately’ to help the Eastern Cape recover from the flood disasters. The two provinces were asked to reprioritize their budgets using funds that would be returned if the National Treasury approved their requests for access to disaster grants.

The Treasury said the provinces are required to to divert funds already in their budgets for relief measures reconstruction. They are then expected to apply for access to disaster funds through the Disaster Management Center and the National Department of Human Settlements.

As for the fact that spending in KwaZulu-Natal is low, Zikalala said: ” I would like to doubt that, because when you talk about spending, we take humanitarian assistance. People don’t eat enough. As a Province, we have taken the view that whatever we receive should benefit the Support and Department of Social Development. We have said that the provincial Treasury Department needs to find funds to support the families who are being housed in communal housing.

“We are also working against time to get land and temporary housing units for people to build, which suggests spending behind and low, I would disagree.”

Regarding donor funds, Zikalala c said, “We received about R3.5 million. The first was R100,000 which a private donor had to give to the health services.

“The second donation was R3m from the gambling and betting industry who wanted to use the money for education. Another R500,000 came from the government of Qatar for humanitarian aid.

“We said that R500,000 must go to support social development.”

Zikalala said, a bank pledged R3.2 million, but this has not been received.

“We can give an account. They say there are funds that have been donated, but they have to give us a breakdown of where the money came from and to which project because we didn’t receive those funds. We can only account for what has been donated to us as a government, and all of those donors have paid directly into the province’s account.”

He said a number of pledged donations had not reached the government.< /p>

“We can’t be held responsible for that,” he said.

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