COGTA PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE RECEIVES A REPORT ON THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT’S INTERVENTION MEASURES TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN THE PROVINCE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTENTION: REPORTERS, NEWS AND ASSIGNMENT EDITORS
DATE: 28 APRIL 2020
COGTA PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE RECEIVES A REPORT ON THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT’S INTERVENTION MEASURES TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF
THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN THE PROVINCE
The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA)
of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, today the 28 April 2020, held a virtual meeting with
the provincial COGTA Department wherein it received a comprehensive report on a
number of interventions being made by the department to curb the spread of
Coronavirus in the province through its Disaster Management Centre.
The meeting was informed of the current situation in KwaZulu-Natal regarding the
spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethekwini Metro is the epicentre of COVID-19 in
the province and has recorded the highest number of confirmed cases currently
standing at 383, followed by uMgungundlovu at 46, and ILembe at 26.
In terms of the plans to combat the spread of the pandemic, a Provincial COVID-19
Response Plan is in place to guide the implementation of interventions by various
departments and municipalities and other stakeholders. The plan is informed by risks
assessments which identify hotspot areas and vulnerabilities at municipal level.
The department is also providing water in the form of static tanks and mobile water
tanks to communities to improve hygiene which is central in the containing the
spread of the pandemic.
There is a sanitization programme that is being rolled out in public amenities across
the province, which also targets informal settlements. The department is involved in
the distribution of food parcels to vulnerable communities through municipalities.
The committee was also informed that the national government has not made funding
available to the province to combat the spread of COVID-19. COGTA is finding it
extremely difficult to get support from the national department of COGTA. The
department has submitted disaster management plans, but has not yet received a
response. None of the KZN municipalities have been granted relief funding to deal
with the COVID-19 crisis. They are using their budgets to deal with the COVID-19
pandemic including the distribution of food parcels. The department requested the
The department has reprioritized its current budget to accommodate its disaster
management interventions to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The
money to fund these interventions come from the line items of the departmental
COGTA MEC, Hon. Sipho Hlomuka has engaged his national counterpart, Minister Dr
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to resolve the issue of funding to the province. The MEC
has been informed that National Treasury has not released the funding to provinces
for fighting the spread of the pandemic. It was still busy with calculations.
The committee raised serious concerns about the distribution of food parcels to
vulnerable communities. It wants to see better coordination in the distribution of food
parcels to ensure that there is equitable and transparent distribution of food parcels to
communities. There is a perception that municipalities are distributing food parcels
along party lines.
“As chairperson of COGTA Portfolio Committee, I will engage the Premier and the
chairperson of COGTA in the National Parliament to ensure that funding for combating
the COVID-19 pandemic is released by national government and made available to
the province as a matter of urgency. We also encourage our MEC to continue with his
engagements with the national Minister to fast-track the release of funding to fight the
spread of the pandemic in KZN” said Hon. Ricardo Mthembu, chairperson of COGTA
Hon. Ricardo Mthembu, MPL
Chairperson of COGTA Portfolio Committee, KZN Legislature
For more information please contact the Chairperson: Cell: 083 981 4320