By James Masango MPL, DA Spokesperson on Cogta:
The following member statement was delivered today by the DA Spokesperson on Cogta, James Masango MPL, during a sitting at the Ehlanzeni District Council Chambers.
I rise to deliver a member statement on behalf of the Democratic Alliance.
On Friday last week Mpumalanga was declared a drought disaster province, joining Kwa-Zulu Natal, Free State, North West and Limpopo as disaster provinces.
Our farmers, both emerging and commercial, have felt the brunt of this drought. Livestock farmers have had to drastically reduce their herds in order to cater for few. Crop farmers yield has also drastically being compromised.
Without a doubt, the country will have to import agricultural produce like maize in order to cover the shortfall.
However, the water crisis in Mpumalanga cannot only be blamed on the drought, it has been coming for a long time because of government’s failure or inability to maintain, and where necessary to upgrade the water infrastructure in our province. Water leaks and sewer spillages that are not attended to immediately, contribute immensely to the water crisis in this province.
These are just some of the water challenges we found ourselves in today.
The DA calls upon the MEC for COGTA to compile and release a detailed report on the drought assessment. The report must amongst other things include, details on which areas in Mpumalanga have been affected, the extent of the said effected areas and what the provincial disaster management has done so far to assist our communities.
The MEC must also inform us of what assistance the province seeks to receive from National Government through the drought disaster declaration.
I thank you.