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COGTA Minister to declare drought a national disaster

Posted: 09 February 2018



Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen says efforts are underway to classify the drought as a national disaster.

Speaking at the media briefing of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Drought in Cape Town Minister Des Van Rooyen said this will lead to Minister of Water and Sanitation to issue regulations and directives in dealing with the drought.

“Currently, efforts are underway to classify the drought as a national disaster. This process will be finalized on or before 14 February 2018.

“This will legally assign the responsibility to the national executive to coordinate the disaster, while a declaration is being considered to be finalized within a period of a month.

“The declaration will empower the Minister or his Delegate to issue Regulations and/or Directives in dealing with the drought disaster,” he said.

The Minister said this as Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and the Western Cape – particularly Cape Town – all go through the worst drought to hit the areas in years.

While national dam levels stood at 59.6% on Wednesday, Western Cape dam levels dipped to 23.7%.
Meanwhile, the South African Local Government Association National Executive Committee (SALGA NEC) has called for greater collective efforts to mitigate challenges brought by the persistent drought crisis and more action to combat climate change and implementation of the Paris Agreement.

At the SALGA NEC meeting held on Monday in Cape Town, affected cities, City of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay and eThekwini made presentations on how they were managing the water crisis and shared some best practices.
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