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WC gov denies claims it has underspent drought relief funding

Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen on Tuesday claimed the province only used 24% of the R74.8 million allocated last year.

The Theewaterskloof Dam. Photo: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Government has disputed claims by Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen that it's underspent drought relief funding.

The Provincial Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Department says it's spent 44% of its drought budget.

Van Rooyen on Tuesday claimed the province only used 24% of the R74.8 million allocated last year.

The provincial government applied to be declared a local disaster area due to the drought in November 2015.

It was approved by the National Government 19 months later.

Environmental affairs MEC spokesperson James-Brent Styan says disaster relief funding was only approved three months after that in August 2017.

He says National government allocated R40 million towards agriculture for livestock feed.

An additional R20 million to the City of Cape Town to assist with drilling into aquifers and R14 million for relief projects in two other municipalities, Bitou and Theewaterskloof.