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‘Plans in place to make disaster procurement easier for drought-affected areas’

The Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape have all declared provincial disaster areas, as a persistent drought grinds on.

Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The national government is putting plans in place to ensure disaster procurement can happen faster in drought-affected areas.

The Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape have all declared provincial disaster areas, as a persistent drought grinds on.

During a special meeting in Parliament this week, Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen raised concerns that provinces were not spending the disaster funds already allocated to them to alleviate the effects of the drought.

Van Rooyen says they are now looking at ways to make it easier for the provinces to spend the money they need.

“Some of the impediments range from procurement processes but also strict provisions that are there in our supply chain management systems. So, it’s very clear that we might have to look into those regulations going forward.”

Van Rooyen says Cape Town has enough water and he doesn't believe that the taps will run dry.

The minister says he believes that there's no basis for the term "day zero", saying it's open to a variety of interpretations.

He says the government is working with all role players to tap into the water supply across the country, not just in cape town.

“I think we have more than enough water in Cape Town for us to be that worried about taps running dry. That’s why we’re encouraging our people to ensure that what we have in Cape Town like of course, what we have in the whole country as a water scarce country. Let’s use it sparingly and responsibly.”

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