The temporary joint committee on flood disaster relief and recovery expressed dissatisfaction with the City of Tshwane’s lack of responsiveness towards flood victims.
On Monday, the committee visited the city to assess the government’s efforts in providing assistance for flood relief and recovery in Gauteng, following the flood damage that occurred from December 2022 to February 2023.
Gauteng is one of the five provinces where the committee has been authorized by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces to oversee the government’s actions in providing relief and facilitating recovery after the floods.
The committee stated that it was displeased with the City of Tshwane’s disregard for flood victims residing in shelters.
They received briefings from the Gauteng government’s MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs, as well as from the City of Tshwane.
The committee expressed disappointment regarding the absence of the City of Tshwane’s executive mayor, who was supposed to lead the municipality’s delegation.
Following the briefings, the committee conducted an oversight visit to a settlement at risk of flooding and the Nellmapius Community Hall in Mamelodi, which serves as one of the shelters for flood victims.
Frolick and Nyambi, the co-chairpersons, mentioned that the committee faced challenges in obtaining accurate information about the number of people accommodated in the shelter since the flood victims claimed that the figures provided by the municipality were incorrect and significantly lower.
The committee observed that the situation in Tshwane mirrored what they had seen in other flood-affected areas. They highlighted a general lack of responsiveness from the parties responsible for providing the necessary relief assistance to flood victims.
The committee expressed disappointment at the absence of political leadership in the City of Tshwane, as leadership is crucial in directing resources appropriately to reach flood victims.
They called on relevant government departments to enhance their efforts in disaster relief and recovery. The committee was informed that some flood victims had lost their identification documents, and the Department of Home Affairs should issue new documents to address this issue.
According to the committee, the victims are living in inadequate conditions in the shelters, where sanitation facilities are not functioning, and they lack access to water and proper sanitation. The committee urged local, provincial, and national government departments to provide assistance.
The committee also learned from the MEC that there is a lack of cooperation between local and provincial governments, which hampers relief and recovery efforts. It called upon both levels of government to prioritize cooperative governance and work together to ensure that flood victims receive the assistance they need.