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DA calls for accountability over unspent disaster relief funds in KZN

In the last financial year, the KZN provincial government disbursed funds to assist disaster victims in more than 10 municipalities.

FILE: The aftermath of a severe storm in Mpolweni in KwaZulu-Natal on 13 November 2019. Picture: Supplied

DURBAN - There are calls for mayors and city managers of various KwaZulu-Natal municipalities including eThekwini to be held accountable over millions of rand in unspent disaster relief funds.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Martin Meyer also criticised the provincial Department of Human Settlements, saying it did not properly monitor municipalities to make sure they help communities that have been gripped by disasters since 2017.

However, the department has hit back insisting it’s done its part.

In the last financial year, the KZN provincial government disbursed funds to assist disaster victims in more than 10 municipalities.

The eThekwini Municipality was allocated over R600 million to assist residents affected by disasters that took place between October 2017 and April 2019.

That amount was supposed to be spent over a period of three years.

It’s now emerged that the municipality failed to spend R46 million allocated in the last financial year.

According to Meyer, this means the municipality failed to implement disaster relief programmes and it can’t get more funds from the provincial government until it has spent its budget from the last financial year.

Meyer said this trend was observed in most municipalities and he’s called on KZN human settlements MEC Peggy Nkonyeni to intervene.