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NW Government must carry the blame for the Deelpan disaster

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NW Government must carry the blame for the Deelpan disaster

19th May 2022

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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by Polity.org.za, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by Polity.org.za.

The Budget delivered today in the North West Provincial Legislature by the MEC of the Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism (DEDECT), Keneetswe Mosenogi, has confirmed the DA's long-held view that the government is responsible for the loss of one life and 170 families left homeless by the Deelpan floods.

In March this year, the Deelpan area suffered a disaster whereby yards were submerged under water due to consistent floods. As early as December last year, this problem was reported to authorities, including the District Municipality and the Department of Cooperative Governance, with no assistance.

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The North West government indicated once more that it is a reactionary government when it only acted when the disaster exacerbated, and people lost their homes. To date, various departments are moving in and out of Deelpan with no permanent solutions.

Today MEC Mosenogi revealed in her budget speech that: "The findings of a scientific study conducted by the department on the Deelpan disaster indicate that the area that was affected by floods not long ago is a wetland and is not suitable for human settlement."

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This revelation speaks volumes about the government's failure to have conducted necessary studies before residents could occupy that land. The fact that scientific studies only get conducted post a disaster is problematic and brings so many questions.

The fact that Deelpan is on tribal land should not be a motivation for the government not to do its job in ensuring that residents build on safe, habitable spaces.

The fact that Human Settlements also built RDP houses in Deelpan also means that those houses were built without any scientific studies conducted. This raises the question: In how many other areas have the government built houses without following due process?

The DA will write to the MEC of COGHSTA to ascertain how this was an oversight on the government's side. We will also request a provincial scientific study to identify all other wetlands in the province occupied by residents.

The government owes the residents of Deelpan an apology. People's lives and their livelihoods matter. The DA will leave no stone unturned until those responsible are taken to task.

The DA will write to the MEC of COGHSTA to ascertain how this was an oversight on the government's side. We will also request a provincial scientific study to identify all other wetlands in the province occupied by residents.

 

Issued by DANW Spokesperson on Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs Freddy Sonakile 

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