#WaterCrisis: ‘Municipalities shouldn’t rely on emergency grant only’

The National Disaster Management Centre says its assessing funding requests from municipalities to determine whether they are actually disaster-related.

Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The National Disaster Management Centre says municipalities need to reprioritise budgets to deal with the effects of drought and can't rely solely on emergency funding from Treasury.

Head of the centre Mmaphaka Tau has been briefing Parliament's Water and Sanitation Committee on the water crisis across parts of the country.

Government is considering declaring a national disaster in the Western Cape, the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape.

The National Disaster Management Centre says its assessing funding requests from municipalities to determine whether they are actually disaster-related.

Treasury has allocated an emergency disaster grant of R500 million for 2018, which comes into effect in April.

Tau said: “There shouldn’t be complete reliance on the emergency grant, it’s limited considered the requests we receive, but reprioritisation should be the first port of call.”

Tau says building new dams is not a priority for government and desalination should also be a last resort where rainfall has been limited.

Forecast drawdown from dams in the coming months as Cape Town faces a water crisis.