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Sun Jul 24 20:39:52 SAST 2016

DA calls for drought to be categorised a national disaster

TMG Digital | 26 January, 2016 14:50
The DA wants the minister to declare a national disaster “to address the effects of South Africa’s worst drought in 23 years that has seen ordinary South Africans without water for protracted periods of time". File photo
Image by: Gallo Images/ Thinkstock

The Democratic Alliance is calling on the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to declare a national disaster.

Five provinces have so far been declared disaster areas since the country experienced its worst drought in 23 years.

Scientists have determined that 2015 was the warmest year since 1880‚ when records began to be kept.

The five provinces include KwaZulu-Natal‚ Free State‚ North West‚ Limpopo and Mpumalanga. And if the Eastern Cape‚ Northern Cape and Western Cape‚ have been luckier‚ certain districts in these provinces have nevertheless been declared disaster zones.

The DA wants the minister to declare a national disaster “to address the effects of South Africa’s worst drought in 23 years that has seen ordinary South Africans without water for protracted periods of time".

Minister of Agriculture Senzeni Gokwana has said that a national disaster cannot be declared‚ because not all provinces are affected by the drought. But the DA is arguing that the Disaster Management Act defines a national disaster as one affecting more than one province and‚ minimally‚ affecting a single province which is unable to deal with it effectively.

The DA said in a statement on Monday: “The current drought has seen thousands of head of livestock die across all provinces which has potential to compromise food security as well as having an enormous impact on South Africa’s already struggling economy‚ and is now resulting in towns and communities running dry.

This is compounded by the continuing energy crisis‚ increasing consumer goods prices and joblessness; with the poor bearing the brunt.”

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