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EC should've been declared drought disaster area months ago - DA

The province's premier Lubabalo Mabuyane made the declaration on Tuesday following months of no rain.

FILE: Gift of the Givers drilling a borehole in drought-stricken Makhanda. Picture: Gift of the Givers

CAPE TOWN - The Eastern Cape has been declared a drought disaster area.

The province's premier Lubabalo Mabuyane made the declaration on Tuesday following months of no rain.

Drought-stricken Eastern Cape municipalities were granted over R600 million for emergency water provision over the past financial year.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Retief Odendaal said the party welcomed the declaration.

"We've had an extended drought in the Eastern Cape for about five years and the province should have been declared a disaster area months ago already because that would have been the first step to access much-needed drought aid from National Treasury. It has now finally been gazetted which means were able to be able to apply for drought relief."

He said that towns in the west part of the province had been affected the most.

"In the Sarah Baartman district, for example, adult kudu have started dying because the veld is in such a bad condition. Many of our commercial farmers are on the brink of bankruptcy because they've had absolutely no support from either national government or provincial government."

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