ANC slammed for not declaring drought a ‘national disaster’

Opposition parties tackled the ruling party on the recent drought during a debate in Parliament today.

Carcas of cattle lost in the drought lie in a field in the Free State. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) has come under pressure for not declaring the drought a national disaster.

Opposition parties tackled the ruling party during a debate in Parliament this afternoon.

Seven of the nine provinces have been declared drought disaster areas, and farmers have lost livestock and crops.

WATCH: Free State farmers hit hard by drought

The Democratic Alliance's Annette Steyn told Members of Parliament that the reason a national disaster has not been declared is because government doesn't have the funds to act.

"The Minister of Finance ran away when he failed to announce any significant additional funding for drought relief. Estimates show immediate requirements of R4,2 billion is needed. If this issue is not dealt with, it will result in consequences for the availability and prices of food for all South Africans, particularly poor households."

But Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says the state has intervened to help those affected by the drought.

She says her department has reprioritised R502 million to respond to the situation.

"On the interventions that we have madeā€¦ government has made significant emergency interventions, as well as short-term mitigation measures, that are financed through the reprioritisation processes."

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