REMARKS BY HON. S E HLOMUKA
COGTA PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEETING
REMARKS BY HON. S E HLOMUKA
KZN MEC FOR COGTA
07 JUNE 2022
Honourable Chairperson and Members
It is great honour for us to appear before this committee once more, as part of its oversight over the work that is being done by the department.
Disaster Response by the Province
We meet with the committee during a time when the department continues to coordinate the province’s response to the floods that struck the province in April and the secondary floods that struck in May. These floods sadly cost the province a total of 459 innocent lives with 87 people still missing.
The subsequent floods that hit our province in May, reversed some of the progress that we had made refurbishing the critical infrastructure that had been damaged, especially in areas in the South of Durban. This challenge did not dampen the spirit of our technical teams who are still determined to ensure that the repairs will be in the shortest time possible, with a focus on building better.
The estimated cost of the extensive damage to critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools and private infrastructure currently sits at more than R25 billion.
This disaster has brought into sharp focus the issue of climate change and how we need to manage it. Scientists have warned us that as a result of climate change these rains could be a regular occurrence in areas along the east coast of our country. Our disaster management team is working closely with our municipalities to ensure that our systems are more resistant to the risk posed by climate change.
In response to this disaster, we have seen the best of our communities with many South African lending a helping hand to the families that have been affected by these floods. We’re quite moved by the solidarity that we’ve seen, it proves that indeed “ umuntu, umuntu ngabantu”
This morning the Minister for Cogta Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma together with the MEC for Social Development in our province, Ms Nonhlanhla Khoza received humanitarian aid from the United Arab Emirates government which arrived at the King Shaka International Airport. As a province we also received humanitarian aid from the government of Qatar on the 29th of May, which was received by the Premier of the Province Sihle Zikalala together with national ministers. We wish to thank all the stakeholders and provinces that came through for our province in its moment of need.
Cogta budget speech tabled
Since the last meeting with this committee which took place on 13 April, our department tabled the R1.8 Billion budget policy speech, which detailed the priorities of the department in the 2022/23 financial year.
We wish to thank this committee for the strategic guidance and inputs that were made by the members which guided us in putting together our budget speech. We look forward to a fruitful year ahead under the oversight of yourselves Honourable members.
Condemnation of latest attacks on councillors
As I conclude Chairperson, we wish to express our concern once more at the attacks that have been made against Councillors within our province.
Last week we learned with shock and sadness of the assassination of Councillor Mxolisi Buthelezi who was a councillor within the uMkhanyakude District. We have also noted with concern reports on the attempted murder of a councillor in the Abaqulusi Local Municipality.
We wish to call upon law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in the quest to apprehend the cowards that are responsible for these blatant acts of criminality.
In the very same breath, we note the work being done by the South African Police Service to arrest and prosecute those that are responsible for the attacks on the leadership across our society.
In conclusion honourable members, the Management of the department led by the Accounting Officer will present before this committee departmental reports on:
- 4th Quarter Report 2021/22 (Financial and Non-Financial)
- Expenditure to-date
- Responses to Finance and Scopa Resolutions
- Responses to Youth Parliament Resolutions for 2021
- Recent Disasters
- uMkhanyakude, Newcastle and Abaqulusi Municipalities
- The establisment and Reconstitution of the Traditional and Kingship Councils, The Provincial House and The Local House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders
- And on the installation of Traditional Leaders
We look forward to a fruitful engagement and guidance from the esteemed members of this portfolio committee.
I thank you!