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Finance minister Enoch Godongwana. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA
Finance minister Enoch Godongwana. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA

As the full cost of emergency relief, reconstruction and flood recovery in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape is yet to be determined, it is difficult to determine whether enough money has been allocated in the 2022 budget, finance minister Enoch Godongwana said.

KwaZulu-Natal estimates that the damage due to the floods will cost about R17bn to repair.

The devastation affected 121,687 people from 17,438 households and left about 435 dead.

In response to a question by DA leader John Steenhuisen, Godongwana said on Wednesday that the R1bn cited by President Cyril Ramaphosa as being available to provide assistance is not a new amount but has already been provided for in the 2022 budget.

An amount of R144m would come from the provincial disaster response grant and R371m from the municipal disaster response grant with a further R501m available in the form of provincial and municipal emergency housing grants.

Godongwana said the funds will be available on application to the National Treasury by the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) or the national department of human settlements that are responsible for administering the grants. So far no applications have been made.

The minister said that in addition, state organs could reprioritise their budgets and existing conditional grants for emergency relief, reconstruction and recovery. Additional resources are also available through the contingency reserve, which will become available after the Appropriations Bill is promulgated.

“Another option is to use the Reconstruction & Development Programme (RDP) fund, which mainly consists of donor disbursements through various financing agreements, plus interest accrued on capital of related development projects.

“Since the full cost of emergency relief, reconstruction and recovery is yet to be determined, it is difficult to determine whether the sources discussed above are adequate,” Godongwana said.

ensorl@businesslive.co.za

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