From Eskom to Phala Phala robbery — 5 important questions answered by David Mabuza
Government has roped in construction experts to help with rebuilding infrastructure and homes destroyed by heavy rains and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and North West.
The process will focus on ensuring new structures are resistant to extreme weather conditions and that residents who built in flood-prone areas will be relocated, deputy president David Mabuza said on Wednesday.
Mabuza gave oral responses to questions raised by MPs on issues including the robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo, Eskom and government’s response to recent flooding.
Here are five responses from Mabuza:
Ramaphosa stepping down
Mabuza responded to EFF MP Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi, who asked if he would avail himself to act in Ramaphosa’s position should the president step aside.
“I don’t think we have reached any point that seeks to say the president must step down. All I know is we have allowed different institutions to make a determination. A decision will be made after a determination. We don’t want to jump the gun [and predict it].”
Mabuza said government established a water and sanitation war room tasked with replacing infrastructure was damaged during heavy flooding in KwaZulu-Natal.
He said housing and other infrastructure will be repaired and rebuilt to protect it from future extreme weather conditions. Displaced communities will be relocated to flood-resistant areas.
“The department has dispatched a full team of multidisciplinary engineers and technical experts to assess flood damage. We will invest in climate-proof infrastructure, including climate-sensitive drainage systems. Local governments will need to communicate information to populations and communities living in flood-prone areas and provide early warning systems to build resilience.”
Resettling displaced communities
Mabuza said the department of human settlements is hard at work rebuilding and relocating displaced communities.
“The department of human settlements is doing everything possible to build houses for those communities. In a short space of time they will be resettled into their new homes.”
Phala Phala robbery
Mabuza said the relevant authorities will determine whether to charge Ramaphosa.
“The matter has been reported to the police and we should allow law enforcement to investigate without our interference. If they want to charge the president they will do so at a proper time. We should allow that process to unfold.”
Independent power producers and Eskom
Mabuza said IPPs and municipalities are allowed to generate and procure electricity from sources outside Eskom.
“The market is gradually opening up. Independent power producers are allowed to generate energy and connect it to the grid. We have also allowed municipalities to generate their own energy. We are opening up this market so Eskom is not a monopoly. Down the line, we will open more sectors.”
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