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EDITORIAL | Cut red tape, stop blame games and get the funds to ...

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EDITORIAL | Cut red tape, stop blame games and get the funds to the flood victims

While people languish in halls and with relatives, bureaucratic bungling sees funds holed up in Treasury coffers

Editorial

For the past two months, families affected by floods in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have been waiting for some intervention from government. They’ve waited in the homes of relatives who could take them in and, where relatives have had no space, they’ve squatted in community halls. They’ve waited as water supplies remain unrestored, roads remain damaged and their lives in general remain in chaos. All the while waiting for the state to follow through on its promises to help them rebuild their lives.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national emergency on April 18, he said: “We will make financial resources available to meet this challenge. The minister of finance has said that R1bn is immediately available.”

But it seems the goalposts were changed last month when Treasury said this money was not going to be made “immediately” available to the provinces. Instead, they were asked to reprioritise their budgets and use money that would be refunded when Treasury approved their applications to access disaster grants...

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