Speech on the Report of the Ad hoc Joint Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery
Speech by ACDP MP, Wayne Thring

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

February 2023 floods wrecked havoc in 7 of South Africa’s 9 provinces

Dec 5, 2023

Honourable House Chairperson, the ACDP notes that the floods of February 2023 wreaked havoc in at least 7 of our 9 provinces, causing loss of lives and damage to property running into billions of rands, with a commensurate loss to the economy of South Africa.

The 2023 floods followed close on the heels of the April 2022 floods that hit Durban when some 300mm of rain fell within 24 hours. 459 people lost their lives, 88 people were missing, 4 000 homes were destroyed, 40 000 people were left homeless, 45 000 people were left temporarily unemployed, and the cost of infrastructure and business losses amounted to over R38 billion.

The research study conducted by the University of Witwatersrand and Brighton, Professors Stefan Grab and David Nash, emphasised the need for preparation for big rainfall events in all of our cities, with particular reference to infrastructure and drainage systems.

According to a report by the Auditor-General of South Africa, the government’s response to the April 2022 flood disaster was inadequate, from impact assessment to the delivery of relief. The report found that the response was too slow compared to planned milestones, and there was inadequate coordination between municipalities and provincial departments. The report also found delivery failures due to lack of capacity and inadequate project management, impact assessments not enabling appropriate planning and response, and the ineffective monitoring of contractors and quality of goods and services they delivered.

Honourable House Chairperson, the ACDP notes the recommendations in this report which candidly speak to the poor state of Municipal finances, the slow pace of releasing post disaster rehabilitation funds, the lack of schedules regarding the movement of people from temporary to permanent homes, and the inability of municipal and provincial governments to spend disaster funds, among other things.

The findings and recommendations of this report confirm that the argument is over, the evidence is overwhelming, irrefutable, conclusive and damning. The ANC has failed the people of South Africa and must be replaced by the ACDP come 2024.

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