The National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) have agreed on the establishment of the ad hoc joint committee on flood disaster relief and recovery, at their separate hybrid plenary sessions on Tuesday.
Members of Parliament (MPs) from both Houses fully supported the establishment of the ad hoc committee upon following the devastation caused by the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal and some parts of the Eastern Cape.
This also follows President Cyril Ramaphosa declaration of the floods as a national state of disaster.
A total of 435 people have died as a result of the floods.
The ad hoc joint committee’s main objective is to:
- Engage the relevant government departments and entities to assess the overall impact of the damage, response and relief measures by the national government.
- Oversee the response and implementation of the relief measures by government.
- Interact with all the committees that have a direct interest in the events to facilitate coordinated oversight function.
- Exercise those powers in Joint Rule 32 in the furtherance of the Committee’s mandate.
The Committee consists 11 members: six ANC members, two DA members, one EFF member and two members each from other parties in the National Assembly.
Nine committee members from the NCOP will also form part of the ad hoc committee.
The Committee is expected to report back to Parliament by 30 November 2022.
Government deployed 10,000 troops to the flood hit-province after it declared a national state of disaster to respond to widespread flooding.
400 SANDF troops were on the ground in KZN for emergency, relief and reconstruction operations.
“The SA army will, as a matter of priority, work on restoring the vehicle and pedestrian bridges in Nteke [west of Durban] starting on 21 April 2022.
“Soldiers will also provide clean drinking water to Pinetown west, Umzinyathi and uThongathi communities using the military water provision system, providing water sachets to affected communities,” Police Minister Bheki Cele announced last week.
Among the other relief measures announced included the South African Air Force providing airpower capabilities to assist with search and recovery efforts, including the transportation of humanitarian relief in the form of equipment and goods.
Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe