Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba cracked opened a R6bn war chest to assist areas in the country hardest hit by drought, particularly the Western Cape and Cape Town. The R6bn is part of an augmentation programme in response to the water challenges various areas in the country have faced since 2015 and the subsequent drought in the Western Cape region, which is the worst the country has seen in a century. “A provisional allocation of R6bn has been set aside in 2018-19 for several purposes, including drought relieve and to augment public infrastructure investment…. Allocation for drought response funds for water infrastructure projects and Expanded Public Works Programme will be made in the adjustment budget,” said Gigaba. Municipal grants would be provided to provincial governments and municipalities battling with water challenges, he said, in line with the work of the government’s interministerial committee on water scarcity. “To provide short-term assistance, this budget includes disa...

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