Decision on Western Cape state of disaster expected this week

15th September 2023 By: News24Wire

 Decision on Western Cape state of disaster expected this week

The Western Cape is expected to know by the end of the week whether a state of disaster will be declared to enable it to access funding to repair flood-related damage.

In August, the provincial government said it would apply to the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) for the declaration of a provincial state of disaster after the severe flooding in the province in June.

Wouter Kriel, spokesperson for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell, said the NDMC informed the province that "we should be getting their response by the end of this week."

He added that the NDMC has already visited the province to verify the damage.

"Once they have quantified the costs, they will send us a letter of classification and we will be allowed to publish the declaration In the provincial gazette," he said.

The declaration will allow the provincial government to request national government for funding support as the scope of damages are beyond the ability of the provincial fiscus.

The provincial government estimated that unfunded damages to the tune of more than R700-million were caused by the flooding.

The largest portion of the unfunded damages (R500-million) is in the agricultural sector.

News24 previously reported that early assessments showed the agriculture sector suffered more than R1-billion in infrastructure damage during the flooding, with the West Coast, Cape Winelands and Overberg the worst affected.

Unfunded damages to provincial infrastructure have been calculated as R181-million. 

Unfunded damages to municipal infrastructure, after reprioritised budgets were taken into consideration, were calculated as R21.5-million.

The national Cogta department, under which the NDMC falls, had not responded at the time of publication.

In a statement, Democratic Alliance spokesperson and chairperson of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Andricus van der Westhuizen, called on the national government to speed up the process.

The committee recently visited the Cederberg Nature Reserve to review work CapeNature is carrying out to reopen tourism facilities.

Van der Westhuizen said CapeNature reserves in the Western Cape suffered almost R25-million in damages, with much of the damage related to internal access roads that had been washed away.


"These damages are not covered by short-term insurance policies. The Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve alone suffered R15 million in damages, including severe damage to internal roads resulting in limited or no access to service hiking trail huts, Cape Canopy Tours, and research and firefighting infrastructure.

"The highly popular camping site at Algeria in the Cederberg, is currently still inaccessible for normal caravans. CapeNature is doing its utmost to restore access in time for the festive season," Van der Westhuizen said.