Press "Enter" to skip to content

Devastating floods wreaked havoc, prompting fears recovery funds may be squandered

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has opposed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s request for a joint session to oversee the work required for flood rehabilitation, saying that a one-time sitting is not enough.

DA Chief Whip, Natasha Mazzone said with the re-emergence of the state of disaster in South Africa, people are understandably concerned that funds allocated to repair flood-ravaged provinces may be stolen in the same way that COVID-19 relief has been.

President Ramaphosa emphasised there would be no room for corruption, mismanagement, and fraud.

‘We’ve learned from the experience of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we’re bringing together various stakeholders to create an oversight structure to ensure all funds disbursed to respond to this disaster go through proper accounting and that South Africa gets good value for its money,” said President Ramaphosa.

He said that the government must use all of the resources it has at its disposal to achieve the intended purpose and to reach the intended recipient.

Mazzone said that she would propose a draft resolution in Parliament to set up an ad hoc committee to supervise all aspects of the national state of disaster in response to the floods that hit Kwa-Zulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape provinces, to avert any looting.

Mazzoni believes it is important for Parliament to scrutinize a declared state of disaster because it is critical for the public.

According to Mazzon, South Africans have only had updates from the executive in two years when a minister has chosen to hold a news conference.

“The Disaster Management Act lacks parliamentary oversight, so the government can use it to bypass parliament and control through regulations.” During the COVD 19 pandemic, the government used this law to its advantage, and Parliament’s constitutionally mandated duty of supervising the executive was completely ignored.,” said Mazzone.

She stressed that the DA would not allow this situation to happen again.

Given the gravity of this situation, Mazzone thinks the DA’s proposed ad hoc committee should hold meetings daily during the state of emergency.

“Although the ANC has previously rejected efforts to change the Disaster Management Bill, it is evident that they intend to use it on a more regular basis. They could potentially rule in perpetuity through it. Therefore, the government’s ability for an indefinite period to declare a state of emergency must be limited.”

The DA has announced its intention to move forward with a motion to amend Section 27 of the Disaster Management Act, with authorization from Parliament before an extension to a state of emergency can be made.

“We cannot trust an executive branch of government to declare a state of emergency for an indefinite period without the approval of Parliament.”

According to Mazzone, Parliament’s role of overseeing the executive branch of government has been largely ignored during the CoviD-19 pandemic.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.