Another state of disaster declared in KZN: Here are three things you need to know

30 July 2021 - 08:00 By unathi nkanjeni
The KwaZulu-Natal government has declared a state of disaster in the province, after violent unrest and looting destroyed property and infrastructure, with hundreds of lives lost.
The KwaZulu-Natal government has declared a state of disaster in the province, after violent unrest and looting destroyed property and infrastructure, with hundreds of lives lost.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The KwaZulu-Natal government has declared a state of disaster, after recent violent unrest and looting.

Premier Sihle Zikalala made the announcement on Thursday, saying the extent of the damage in the province informed the decision.

Infrastructure in the province was severely damaged during the destruction and looting and about 250 people lost their lives during unrest that unfolded.

Here are three things you need to know about the provincial state of disaster.

More than R1.58bn damage done to the province's infrastructure

Zikalala said the damage to the province's infrastructure and the relief required for the sector departments was more than R1.58bn, of which R47.7m was required by municipalities.

“The executive council also noted that the financial implications for the damages and recovery costs were still not final,” he said.

Situation is beyond local government's financial capacity

The executive council recommended submitting for classification to the national disaster management centre in terms of section 23(1)(b) of the Disaster Management Act, said Zikalala.

“The situation is beyond the provincial and municipal capacity to deal with the cost of public riots and unrest as reported,” he said.

“The declaration of a provincial state of disaster will support the reprioritisation of budgets to implement the repairs and recovery programmes.”

Time frame to be decided by national government.

Addressing the media, Zikalala said the provincial state of disaster should not be confused with the extended national state of disaster.

Zikalala said he hoped that the state of disaster would assist the province in rebuilding its damaged infrastructure.

“We need to ensure that we rebuild quickly and that will allow us to reprioritise within the budget but also to ask relevant departments to make more contributions so that we are able to rebuild and repair the public infrastructure that has been damaged,” he said.

He said the time frame for the provincial state of disaster would be decided by the government.

“We have submitted to the national government, and we will be making the follow-up on the submission and based on that, we will then know the time frame,” said Zikalala.


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