Parliament will establish an ad hoc committee on the floods that have left a trail of destruction in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the Eastern Cape.
Joint sitting of Parliament
This was revealed on Thursday in a statement by Parliament ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament next Tuesday on the devastation caused by flooding along the East coast.
Ramaphosa wrote to the presiding officers of Parliament calling for a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament – the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) – after Cabinet declared a national state of disaster to respond to the deluge in KZN that has claimed the lives of 435 people.
The president said he wanted MPs, as South Africa’s elected representatives, to be directly involved in oversight of the work that is needed to provide relief and to rebuild KZN and parts of the Eastern Cape that have been affected by floods.
It is estimated that more than 40 000 people have been displaced by the floods in KZN, which have caused extensive damage to houses, businesses, roads, bridges and water, electricity, rail and telecommunication infrastructure.
Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the joint sitting of Parliament was scheduled to begin at 2pm on Tuesday.
It will be preceded by separate plenaries of the National Assembly and NCOP for the establishment of an ad hoc committee on the recent floods.
“The National Assembly sitting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday at 12 noon, whilst the NCOP will hold a sitting at 12:30,” Mothapo said.
He said political parties represented in Parliament would be allocated time to respond to Ramaphosa’s address. The president would thereafter respond to the parties accordingly.
KZN flood death toll revised down
Government on Thursday revised the death toll from the floods that have wreaked havoc in KZN to 435 from 448.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said the death toll was revised down after post-mortems revealed that four people were murdered and nine others died from natural causes in flood-affected areas.
“A total of 435 people have died as a result of the floods that ravaged the KwaZulu-Natal province. There was a figure of 448 fatalities which has now been revised down to 435,” Cele said at a media briefing in Pretoria by the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS).
The number of people who were missing or unaccounted for in the wake of the floods was unconfirmed at this stage.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe