GOOD statement by Brett Herron,
GOOD: Secretary-General & Member of Parliament
23 June 2022
Two months after the deadly floods in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the victims have been left to depend on foreign aid while the different spheres of their own government are playing the blame game.
South Africa’s climatization to dealing with a new crisis each month has allowed promises to fall through the cracks without any outrage.
KZN barely had a year to recover from the riots in 2021 before the next crisis emerged in the devastating flooding in April. Yet our national, provincial and local governments don’t seem to share the sentiment that urgent intervention is crucial.
Predictably, there was an immediate sense of urgency following the floods, with grand plans for relief efforts and a promise of one billion rand in relief funding which would only be the first increment of further funding.
Fast forward to the present day and this money is still with National Treasury and the victims have to rely on relief received from our neighbour, Mozambique, in the form of 10 tons of rice, 10 tons of maize flour, 20 tons of spaghetti, and 2 tons of brown sugar.
Not only is this delay in funding unacceptable, but the lack of accountability is outrageous, with provincial and national government simply pointing the finger at each other.
The finance minister stating that there has been a lack of co-ordination between the two departments and accusing municipal government of trying to double dip with insurance depicts how much of our government operates on the same level as a preschool.
Surely in a crisis such as this, coordinating the response to ensure effective intervention should be a top priority?
Are our people supposed to accept the fact that we have the capability to donate millions in relief to Cuba, an island thousands of kilometers away but do not have the capability to relieve the province which has gone through turmoil twice in not even a year.
If a country like Mozambique, which is undergoing more political and economic turmoil than ourselves, can still find the kindness to help their neighbours, how can we accept this failure?
We as a nation owe it to the desperate citizens of KZN to hold all three spheres of government responsible for their crisis resolution failure which ultimately results in some flashy promises without all of effective solutions implemented.
Thankfully, GOOD party leader and Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure has led the rapid construction of emergency bridges to at least resolve access and mobility barriers.
The rainfall was the natural disaster, yet our government’s inefficiency will doom more lives than Mother Nature herself.
The inability to respond rapidly, and meaningfully, to this natural disaster suggests it’s time we look at our disaster relief structures. It appears time for a properly structured disaster relief entity that can bolster the current capacity to respond.
Brett Herron, GOOD: Secretary-General & Member of Parliament
Janke Tolmay, GOOD: Media Manager