Question NW3781 to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
05 November 2015 - NW3781
Carter, Ms D to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Whether he intends to collaborate with the Minister of Water and Sanitation to mount a joint programme to relieve the dire situation in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, where a severe drought has caused agriculture to collapse and rivers to dry up leading to great hardships for the persons residing in the specified area; if not, why not; if so, what joint actions was his department and the Department of Water and Sanitation going to embark upon to support the drought stricken communities in the specified area and elsewhere in the country where similar conditions prevail? NW4523E
The management of drought requires integrated and multi-disciplinary approaches flowing from mandates of various sector departments and other role players. It is on this basis that the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries collaborates with all relevant Ministers including the Minister of Water and Sanitation in dealing with the Northern KwaZulu-Natal drought situation under the support of the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as the custodian of the Disaster Management Act of 2002 (Act 57 of 2002).
If not, why?
The Republic of South Africa has governing piece of legislation on disaster management that guides spheres of government as well as organs of state on how to deal with cross cutting issues. In the case of disasters and disaster risk management there is the Disaster Management Act, no. 57 of 2002, the National Disaster Management Framework of 2005 and the Public Finance Management Act of 1999 (Act 1 of 1009). The above legislation stipulate the roles and responsibilities of all organs of state which among others is to provide for an integrated and coordinated disaster management policy focusing on preventing or reducing the risk of disasters, mitigating the severity thereof, preparedness, rapid and effective response to disasters and post-disaster recovery. The Disaster Management Act 2002 places statutory responsibilities for disaster risk reduction on every organ of state in each of the three spheres of government and gives a mandate for the establishment of disaster risk management centres in all the spheres.
The national disaster response and recovery coordination is done by the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG) through the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC). So DAFF is working under the coordination of DCoG and other relevant sector departments in addressing the disaster relief programmes nationally. The provinces and municipalities also collaborate with the Minister of Water and Sanitation in dealing with the Northern KwaZulu-Natal situation and other affected areas. The provincial Department of Agriculture of KZN put R6 million aside to assist the affected farming communities with supply of fodder to small scale and subsistence farmers. The national drought relief request is submitted to NDMC for both classification and declaration of a state of drought disaster.