Western Cape Adjustments Appropriation (Emergency Funds) Bill 2017
Madam Speaker, on 13 August 2017 I tabled the Western Cape Adjustments Appropriation (Emergency Funds) Bill 2017, the Adjusted Estimates of Provincial Expenditure (Emergency Funds), 2017 and the Provincial Extraordinary Gazette for deliberation in the House.
At the time I highlighted the scope and scale of the disasters that had struck the Western Cape.
The persistent drought was exasperated by:
(1) A massive winter storm struck Cape Town and surrounding areas over the period 6 – 8 June 2017.
(2) During the same period, a huge fire raged in the Eden District, specifically in the Knysna and Plettenberg Bay area between Thursday, 8 June 2017 and Sunday, 11 June 2017.
(3) In addition, this Government had to respond to the partial destruction of the Swartland Hospital and related equipment caused by a fire on 18 March 2017 and
(4) Sadly, a large section of Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay, Cape Town was also devastated by fires.
Madam Speaker, the core values of the Western Cape Government, to
which Provincial Treasury subscribes, include amongst others
Caring – we care for those we serve and work with
Responsiveness – we serve the needs of our citizens
Integrity – to be honest and do the right thing and
Accountability – we take responsibility
The Western Cape Government’s was indeed informed by our core values.
Madam Speaker, the response to the disasters clearly highlighted the character of the people of the Western Cape and South Africa.
The outpouring of compassion during the Knysna Fires which has been described by Knysna Fire Chief, Clinton Manual as the biggest disaster in South Africa’s recent history highlighted that South Africans have the ability to respond in the most caring manner when others experience adversity.
Madam Speaker, R75 Million has been made available by the Western Cape Government.
Business plans have been finalized and approved and MOU’s have been put in place.
The Western Cape Provincial Treasury will now closely monitor the implementation and financial performance against budget to ensure that the allocated funding indeed brings a positive change in the lives of the individuals and communities who were affected by the drought.
This Government will ensure that we do not experience the same level of incompetence that resulted in as (alleged by Agri-SA):
- Wrong feed being delivered to farmers‚ some of which was found dumped in the Free State.
- Several boreholes were also drilled in the same area.
- Feed prices being inflated to benefit the service providers and departmental officials taking some of the feed for themselves.
- Despite R265-million spent by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform on relief programmes‚ farmers have told devastating stories of how all they received was only enough feed to feed their livestock for a day.
- Department of agriculture‚ forestry and fisheries allocating R212-million‚ of which only R146.2-million was spent despite the country being in the grips of the worst drought in decades.
The Western Cape Government will not make the same mistake.
The allocated funds will reach all the identified beneficiaries.
Madam Chair, I would once again like to express my thanks to all businesses, NGO’s, financial institutions, municipalities, National Government and disaster management agencies for excellent support during this most difficult period.
This Adjustment Appropriation shows that the Western Cape Government is a indeed responsive Government who will stand by our communities in distress.
Madam Speaker, despite all our difficulties, the people of the Western Cape demonstrated the power of a united resolve to assist those affected by diversity.
I am further heartened by the announcement earlier this week that an additional R74.5m has been made available to the Western Cape by the National Disaster Fund.
These funds will be disbursed as follows:
- Department of Agriculture - R40m for the transportation of livestock feed for affected farming communities
- City of Cape Town – R20.8m for drought relief projects
- Bitou Local Municipality – R10.9m for drought relief projects
- Theewaterskloof Local Municipality R3.1m for drought relief projects
This is a response to our submission dated May 2017.
While we are extremely grateful to the national Disaster Fund, we trust that urgent considerations will also be given to our further requests for further national support following the June disasters.
Thank you Madam Speaker.
Media Liaison Officer/Spokesperson to Dr Ivan Meyer Minister of Finance
Cell: 079 990 4231