Media Statement - 27 January 2011

The Human Settlements Department has approximately R100-m available to assist KwaZulu Natal flood victims whose homes were damaged by the recent floods.

This was announced by Human Settlements Minister Sexwale during a site visit today (27 January 2011) to Mnambithi in KwaZulu Natal, accompanied by KwaZulu Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize.

“We cannot ignore the human tragedy that has resulted from the recent rains,” Sexwale said. “More than 600 homes in this area were damaged by the floods and need to be either replaced or completely rebuilt.

“As national government, we have to stand side by side with the province in recovering from this disaster.”

Sexwale pointed out that a special fund already exists to cover damage caused by floods in the province. This fund -- the KwaZulu Natal Disaster Relief Grant -- was established by national government in 2008/2009, after severe floods hit the province.

“There is an amount of slightly more than R100-million available in the fund this financial year, and we have asked the province to draw up clear plans as to how this will be spent. We are here today, collectively, to see how the balance of the fund can be utilised.”

“The Premier and I will be putting our heads together as to how Government can provide relief,” Minister Sexwale said.

Minister Sexwale’s visit follows the proclamation by President Jacob Zuma of a national disaster in seven provinces and 28 municipalities, and the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to provide relief to those affected by the floods. Minister Sexwale is a member of the IMC.

Minister Sexwale also announced that the Human Settlements Ministry will be making R120-m available to the KZN provincial government this financial year for the rectification of badly-built houses, which need to be either repaired or replaced as a result of shoddy workmanship.

“Earlier this month we were in the unfortunate position of having to withdraw R200-m from the provincial budget which should have been spent on the construction of new homes,” he said. “But today we are pleased to be able to state that we are able to allocate R120-m to the province, which will go towards the repair of existing homes. This will be allocated as part of our national rectification programme, and will ensure that Government is able to repair or rebuild many of the badly-built houses which exist across the province.”

Queries: Chris Vick, Special Advisor to Minister Tokyo Sexwale

Mobile: 083 556 7644

Press Release Date: 
Thursday, January 27, 2011