The SA National Defence Force Will Remain In Flood-Stricken Parts Of Kwazulu-Natal And The Eastern Cape Until June.
Taxpayers will fork out around R500 million for the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) deployment to flood-ravaged parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the deployment of around 10 000 soldiers to the two provinces to assist with humanitarian and rebuilding efforts.
In a letter to Parliament’s presiding officers, National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo, Ramaphosa said the troops were deployed, “… to preserve life and health and property in emergency or humanitarian relief operations in the KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape provinces”.
The letter dated 26 April was released by Parliament this week.
The expenditure expected to be incurred for this deployment amounts to R506 406 000, Ramaphosa said.
“This employment was authorised in accordance with the provisions of Section 18 of the Defence Act, Act 42 of 2002. The employment is for a period of two months from 14 April 2022 to 14 June 2022,” Ramaphosa said.
He also requested that the contents of the letter be brought to the attention of MPs in both Houses.
A preliminary assessment report from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements indicated that more than 13 500 households were affected, 3 937 houses were destroyed, and 8 039 houses were partially destroyed.
Last month, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the floods damaged over 630 schools – 101 were deemed inaccessible and 124 suffered extensive damage.
The minister said 64 pupils had died.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the damage to health facilities in KwaZulu-Natal would cost R185 million to repair.
Several health facilities had damaged rooves due to the flooding.
The Social Development Department had managed to provide shelter to about 8 400 people, with 98 shelters established.
The majority of those housed were women and children.
Last month, Ramaphosa announced that he has roped in the Auditor-General to keep an eye on the billions in disaster relief.
Auditor General Tsakani Maluleke has authorised her office to undertake real-time audits of the funds.
Maluleke said the AG has an important role to play in providing independent assurance that public funds are accounted for and are being used as intended.