Media Statements

Minister Zweli Mkhize Announces Approval of Drought Measures Funding

Since the Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Drought and Water Scarcity held its last media briefing announcing the declaration of drought as a national disaster on 13 March 2018 in Cape Town, the severity of the drought is still evident in all the Cape Provinces (Western, Eastern and Northern). Other provinces are also affected with pockets of drought in varying scales in some of the areas.


The reclassification of the drought as a national disaster by the Head of the National Disaster Management Centre, under Government Notice 107/2017 published in Government Gazette 41439 on 13 February 2018, designated the primary responsibility for the coordination and management of the disaster to the national executive who must act in close cooperation with the other spheres of government to deal with the disaster and its consequences.


In the last media briefing, we indicated that looking at the prevailing drought, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) has the legal authority in terms of the Disaster Management Act 2002 to declare a national state of disaster through notice in the Government Gazette, and this was done in Gazette No.41493 on 13 March 2018. The CoGTA Minister, in consultation with the relevant cabinet members came to this decision after a recognition that special circumstances exist to declare the drought as a national state of disaster, in terms of Section 27(1) of the Act.


I would like to emphasise that the declaration of a state of disaster at any level is not primarily aimed at requesting funding, but it is aimed at activating extra-ordinary measures, which might include funding, based on the need and other relevant conditions to address the impact of such a disaster. We are busy engaging all the relevant stakeholders and communities to implement intervention measures for recovery in the long term.


I am pleased to announce that Government has made available a total amount of R433.524 million from the Disaster Grants administered by COGTA as immediate disaster relief funding for drought within the three most affected provinces (Eastern, Northern and Western Cape Provinces) over 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years. 


Of this amount, R348.846 million is to be transferred in the 2017/18 financial year, with the R84.678 million transferred in the 2018/19 financial year.


A summary for the allocation of funding is as follows:


Table 1: A summary for the funding allocation for drought:


No Province Organs of state Purpose of allocation Source of funding Amount


1.      Eastern Cape Municipalities Water infrastructure projects


Municipal Disaster Grant R104. 738
2.      Northern Cape Municipalities Water infrastructure projects Municipal Disaster Grant R36. 833


Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Provision and transportation of livestock feed Provincial Disaster Grant R127. 017

*to be transferred in 3 tranches. R42.339 in 2017/18. The remaining amount to be transferred in 2 tranches during 2018/19 FY

3.      Western Cape Municipalities Water infrastructure projects Municipal Disaster Grant R164. 936
Total     R433.524 million




Table 2: The details on the allocation of funding for drought relief


2.1.     Allocations from the Municipal Disaster Grant to municipalities for water  infrastructure:


No. Province Municipality


Purpose of the allocation Amount


1.      Eastern Cape Sarah Baartman District Municipality
Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality (LM) Water infrastructure projects R468
Koukamma LM Water infrastructure projects R770
Kouga LM Water infrastructure projects R1 090
Sundays River LM Water infrastructure projects R2 090
Makana LM Water infrastructure projects R810
Blue Crane Route LM Water infrastructure projects R180
Ndlambe LM Water infrastructure projects R950
Amathole District Municipality
Mbashe LM Water infrastructure projects R1 380
Nelson Mandela Bay Metro
Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Water infrastructure projects R97 000
Total : Eastern Cape R104 738
2.      Northern Cape Pixley District Municipality
Kareeberg (LM) Water infrastructure projects R4 626
Namakwa District Municipality
Richtersveld LM Water infrastructure projects R15 197
Namakhoi LM Water infrastructure projects R4 542
Hantam LM Water infrastructure projects R8 500
Kamiesberg LM Water infrastructure projects R3 968
Total: Northern Cape R36 833
3.      Western Cape Cederberg LM Water infrastructure projects R7 962
Matzikama LM Water infrastructure projects R7 627
Drakenstein LM Water infrastructure projects R26 845
City of Cape Town Water infrastructure projects R122 502
Total: Western Cape R164 936
Grand Total (MDG) R306 507

2.2.     Allocation from the Provincial Disaster Grant to provincial department for drought relief.


No. Province Municipality


Purpose of the allocation Amount


3. Northern Cape Pixley District Municipality


Provision and transportation of livestock feed


R127. 017

*to be transferred in 3 tranches. R42.339 in 2017/18. The remaining amount to be transferred in 2 tranches during 2018/19 FY

Namakwa District Municipality



PDG Total


                                                               2017/18 FY


                                                               2018/19 FY




PDG Grand Total   R127. 017



The approval and transfer of these funds is based on the conditions for the Municipal Provincial Disaster Grants as stipulated in the applicable Grant Framework. These funds were transferred to the recipients on 19 March 2018. As indicated, the remaining funds for agriculture sector in Northern Cape will be transferred in two (2) separate instalments during the 2018/19 financial year, based on the conditions on the ground as well as progress on the implementation of relief measures within affected communities.


We urge the grant recipients, which are provinces, relevant departments and municipalities to implement the drought relief projects swiftly without any delays. However the focus should be on the quality of the work done, value for money and accountability on the utilisation of public funds through the guidance of relevant Provincial Treasuries.


CoGTA will coordinate the provision of support as well as the monitoring and evaluation of implementation of relief measures by the provinces and municipalities. This will be done through the relevant technical teams/work streams constituted by relevant national government departments and organs of state as well as the Provincial Disaster Management Centres with relevant provincial or regional government departments and existing structures.

The Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) will continue to monitor the drought conditions throughout the country as well as regularly provide leadership and oversight to the organs of state for appropriate decision making including the regular review of decisions based on the drought and water shortage conditions within the country.


On the other hand, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) will continue to monitor and advise on weather forecasts in order for the country to make informed decisions particularly on disaster risk reduction. We caution all people in South Africa, whether citizens or visitors, even though some parts of the country are receiving rains and others even experiencing flash flooding, it is important to note that we are not out of the woods yet with regard to drought conditions.


South Africa may be experiencing drought conditions in some parts but it remains one of the most exciting tourist destinations in the world. We call on tourists to continue visiting South Africa and experience all that our beautiful country has to offer.


As communities, we should protect our water resources and infrastructure as well as report criminal acts to the relevant authorities.




Legadima Leso

Head of Communications

083 378 9495