National dept took 19 months to declare Cape Town a disaster area - Helen Zille

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has dismissed Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane's criticisms of the provincial government and it's handling of the water crisis.

READ: 'Behavioural change means there will never be a Day Zero - Minister Mokonyane

Answering questions about the drought, Mokonyane accused the provincial government of failing to declare a national disaster early enough to resolve the matter.

READ: 30 municipalities to have water supply limited, but what about consumers?

Zille says it took nineteen months to get a response from the national department about the declaration of a disaster area.

It is important to get the fact straights. Minister Mokonyane knows how difficult it is to get a disaster declared. You cannot do anything like, for example, shift budgets without a declaration of a disaster.

Helen Zille, WC Premier

Zille says the province applied to the national disaster management centre in November 2015 after the very first dry winter and that request was turned down by the national government.

If January 2016 we got permission to declare five rural municipalities disasters, but it was only 19 months later after our first application that the national department allowed Cape Town to be declared a disaster area.

Helen Zille, WC Premier

None of the national money that was promised for those things ever came through. We had to use our own resources.

Helen Zille, WC premier

She insists getting a disaster declared was crucial to resolving the crisis.

Where Minister Mokonyane gets her facts from I really don't know. No one wants bickering, we all want solutions. Getting a disaster declared earlier enough is crucial to the solution.

Helen Zille, WC premier

Click on the link below to listen to Zille's denunciation of the national department...


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