POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2018 NOMFUNDO XUZA
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr Des van Rooyen in his capacity as the chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on drought and water scarcity welcomed the reclassification of drought as a national disaster.
Following the announcement by the IMTT on 09 February 2018, the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), reclassified drought as a national disaster and a notice to this effect was published in Government Gazette No 414389, dated 13 February 2018.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has declared the province a disaster area.
“We must also indicate that the executive council will submit an application to national government for classification and declaration of a disaster as a provincial disaster in terms of the section 41 of the Disaster Management Act, since it affects more than one district,” said Premier Mchunu.
The declaration of a disaster area paves the way for Provincial Treasury to reprioritise the provincial budget and redirect funds towards the rebuilding of the province.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura will declare parts of the province disaster areas following the severe storms and strong winds that hit the province on Monday.
This decision was taken at an ordinary meeting of the Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday, following a briefing on the extent of the damage by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).
The storms left a trail of destruction in parts of the City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and the West Rand District Municipality.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) is coordinating relief efforts amid the worst storm that hit many parts of the province.
The storm, which hit the province on Tuesday morning, caused major damage to hospitals, factories, homes and other key infrastructure.
According to a Cogta report, the storm caused power outages in various areas, with two deaths reported. Many residential areas, including businesses, especially in eThekwini Metro, reported flash flooding.
South Africa has found a breakthrough pricing agreement that will speed up the availability of the first affordable, generic and single-pill HIV treatment programme.
Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has collaborated with a number of international organisations and agencies to reach the breakthrough.
“The new fixed dose combination will be available to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) at a reduced price of US$75 per person, per year.