The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) welcomes the declaration earlier today by Premier Sihle Zikalala of a state of disaster in the province.
It is clear that KZN does not have the financial resources to address the chaos and destruction that took place during the recent rioting. eThekwini alone has suffered R15 billion in destruction to property.
Once the total costs across the province are calculated, the DA estimates that the figure will be close to the R40 billion mark – a figure that KZN does not and never will have the fiscal capacity to address.
With current estimates also projecting an estimated 150 000 jobs at stake, it is critical that the reconstruction of our province happen sooner rather than later. Of concern though, is whether National Treasury itself has the available fiscal resources to address the destruction.
The DA trusts that any financial support given to KZN will be closely monitored by National Treasury. The memory of wholesale looting by provincial government departments of PPE funds – directed to KZN when the Covid-19 pandemic hit – remains fresh and there can be little doubt that this latest disaster relief funding will have some officials and departments quivering with anticipation.
What has emerged loud and clear during the past two weeks is that KZN does not have a capable state under Premier Zikalala. Instead, what we have witnessed is the absolute failure of the provincial government.
The people of KZN should also not lose sight or stop questioning the cause of this death, destruction and anarchy in our province. Those who plotted the failed insurrection need to be exposed and bought to book.
This must start with the ANC as an organization. Without identifying the root cause of the uprising, political anarchy will continue to bubble.
The DA in its role within the KZN Legislature will continue to closely monitor the process of rebuilding our province and the allocation of financial relief and its use thereof. The ANC cannot be trusted with the peoples’ money – history has proved this.