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We must not politicise work of committee on floods: MPs

Rescue teams in KZN after floods ravaged the province. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA)

Rescue teams in KZN after floods ravaged the province. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 13, 2022

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Cape Town - Political parties have called for political differences to be put aside when dealing with the monitoring of the use of funds and revitalisation of key infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape after the floods in April.

Parties said people on the ground were not interested in party differences, but to receive basic needs and rebuild their lives.

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Members of the ad hoc committee, co-chaired by Jomo Nyambi from the National Council of Provinces and Cedric Frolick from the National Assembly, met on Friday to decide on their plans.

ATM leader Vuyo Zungula said the issue of relief measures in both the Eastern Cape and KZN must not be politicised.

“For me what is important is that even though we put political differences aside and not politicise the work of this committee, it should not take our responsibility of ensuring that we provide proper oversight and we do our work diligently,” said Zungula.

Dean Macpherson of the DA said this was an opportunity for parties to put aside their differences.

It was in the interest of affected communities for all parties to conduct themselves as lawmakers whose job was to do oversight.

“We are keen to hit the ground running and we really think this is an opportunity and a moment to put party politics aside and to put the best interests of those residents that had been deeply affected by the floods,” said Macpherson.

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Mina Lesoma of the ANC also said parties need to work together.

She said the focus must be on the job at hand.

“I agree with honourable Macpherson to say that we will leave aside all politics and deal with issues at hand. Our communities are getting impatient with the situation they find themselves in,” she said.

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IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa said also key to the work of the ad hoc committee was to build the trust between the public and government on the use of funds.

He said they need to hold accountable those who have been tasked with managing the funds.

He said the Covid-19 PPE tender corruption had provided some lessons.

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The auditor-general, law enforcement agencies and National Treasury must keep an eye on the funds and ensure accountability, said Hlengwa.

Political parties had raised concern about corruption in the distribution of funds.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had asked Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke to do real-time audits.

Ramaphosa also said the ad hoc committee would have to hold officials and politicians handling the funds accountable to ensure that there was no malfeasance.

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