The Western Cape could be classified a national disaster by next week, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen said on Thursday.
The drought and water scarcity in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape have already been declared provincial disasters. “Currently, efforts are underway to classify the drought as a national disaster,” Van Rooyen said at a media briefing in Cape Town.
Van Rooyen said the National Disaster Management will make an announcement on Wednesday, February 14.
In terms of the Disaster Management Act, the first step would be to reclassify the areas national disasters. The act may have an effect on by-laws and will enable national authorities to assume greater control of the province’s water crisis plan.
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“Managing a disaster is a very legislatively prescribed process,” Van Rooyen said.
The Department of Water and Sanitation said it will continue to monitor the 214 major dams in the country, as the country’s national average level for dams sit at 58.8%.