Drought no longer a national disaster

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Zweli Mkhize, has announced that he will not renew the national state of disaster declared in March due to the national drought. The legislation lapsed yesterday.

This as assessments conducted by the National Joint Drought Coordinating Committee (NJDCC) showed that the drought in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape – as well as some smaller pockets in the country – was at its end and was now entering the resilience building phase.

Mkhize said that this was a result of various interventions initiated or intensified since the national disaster declaration. R433.52 million was mobilised from respective disaster grants to implement relief projects, of which R348.83 million was transferred during the 2017/18 financial year. R84.67 million will be transferred during the current financial year from the Provincial Disaster Grant.

During the resilience building phase, government will focus on improving identification, funding, coordination and management of projects aimed at reducing vulnerability to drought.

Meanwhile, the NJDCC will broaden its focus beyond monitoring to such projects as the augmentation of water supply levels, mainstreaming of water conservation, and re-evaluation of drought policies.

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