The National Treasury and the National Disaster Management Centre have allocated R974-million towards disaster recovery programmes and projects in the Western Cape.
Some R553-million of this drought funding was distributed to the City of Cape Town for drought alleviation projects and specifically for the Cape Flats, Table Mountain Group and Atlantis Aquifer projects.
“In addition, the funding will allow for the province to recover from the severe storms which occurred in June 2017, as well as the resultant and devastating fires which occurred in Knysna and Bitou municipalities at the time,” Western Cape Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Minister Anton Bredell said in a statement issued on Monday.
Included in the allocations is R25.8-million to the provincial Department of Education for the construction and rehabilitation of 22 schools in the province following the storms and fires in 2017 and R28.9-million to the Department of Water and Sanitation for the drilling of emergency boreholes in the Theewaterskloof region.
Other disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction projects that have been funded include the national Department of Water and Sanitation for drought alleviation in the Oudtshoorn municipality, which received R30-million; the provincial Department of Agriculture for livestock feed for farmers, with R170-million; and the provincial Department of Agriculture for the Landcare programme, which includes alien clearing and managing irrigation channels, which was allocated R41.9-million.
Further, R63.6-million had been provided for other drought-related projects across the province under the Department of Environmental Affairs, while R54-million was allocated for environmental rehabilitation and stabilisation projects in Knysna, which will reduce the risk of fires and mudslides during heavy rains.
Meanwhile, dam levels in the province continue to recover, with the average level for dams across the Western Cape currently at 66%, compared with 36% in 2017.
“The Cape Town dams system levels are 76% full, an incredible improvement over the past four months,” Bredell said.