Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza says a steering committee will be set up to assess the full extent of the damage suffered by the agricultural sector in KwaZulu-Natal following the devastating floods.
The Minister met with farming organisations and farmers in Durban.
Early estimates put the losses in the sector at more than R500 million.
Didiza says repairs to damaged road infrastructure have been identified as a priority.
“We don’t have conclusive figures and this is one of the things that this committee will do to fast-track their assessment so that we can know what figure we are working on. Usually, we would be looking at whether other funds between the two departments in the province can actually be utilised for this disaster. Obviously, in terms of government processes we will have to approach [National] Treasury,” says the Minister.
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Warning against looters
Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned that those who syphon money meant for relief in KwaZulu-Natal will be arrested.
This, as South Africans raise concerns over the possible misuse of funds.
Last week, the province saw floods that left scores displaced and ravaged homes and infrastructure.
Rescue efforts are still under way for many who remain unaccounted for, while the death toll continues to rise.
Minister Cele updates at the security cluster ministers’ media briefing: