Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Looting of disaster funds a cause for concern

(Debate in Parliament: Disaster damage on the East Coast)

South Africa does have a reason to be concerned about the looting of the disaster funds in KwaZulu-Natal seeing as President Cyril Ramaphosa's earlier promises to prevent fraud and corruption with the Covid-19 emergency fund came to nothing.

The President also stated in 2019 that he would involve the National Treasury and the Auditor-General (AG) to help combat corruption. The only tangible difference is that now real-time, or continuous, audits will be performed while the disaster funds are being spent.

There are, however, already allegations of fraud and looters are no doubt smacking their lips at the prospect of getting their hands on the disaster funds as soon as they become available – particularly those relating to the repair of infrastructure.

The allocation of contracts must follow a transparent process. It must be published and the public must have the opportunity to scrutinise the entire process.

It is important to note that the disaster damage is not only the result of natural causes, but also of the Municipality of eThekwini's poor planning and inadequate maintenance of infrastructure.

The South African Chamber of Trade and Industries warned as far back as 2019 that infrastructure urgently needs attention. Nothing was done.

The disaster also shone the spotlight on the value of the commando system, which was abolished in 2007. The system consisted of members from a specific community who knew their environment well and were able to take immediate action in case of an emergency.

It has left an enormous void and this is a call for the President to, by means of the Ministry of Defence, look into the possibility of establishing a similar contingency group, like a local guard.

Such a group can be deployed immediately in case of an emergency, like the recent catastrophic floods. This must be done with a view to the future seeing as the disaster in KwaZulu-Natal is surely not the last disaster to affect South Africa.

The biggest disaster that South Africa is currently experiencing is an incompetent ANC government, which lacks the will and ability to effectively combat corruption.

In today's debate, Mr Fanie du Toit, FF Plus Member of the NCOP, said that the ANC government deliberately allowed the violation of municipal regulations and relevant legislation in places affected by the catastrophic floods for political reasons, popularity and ideological dreams.

And it directly resulted in the deaths of many of the 435 people who lost their lives in the disaster.

The disastrous impact of the floods could have been mitigated if storm water systems were clear and working as they should, and basic maintenance was performed on infrastructure.

Ironically enough, the government's own incompetence and inability is increasingly resulting in greater state dependence, unemployment and starvation. Ultimately, the ANC is the biggest disaster to ever hit South Africa.




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