State should provide disaster relief

TAU SA is of the opinion that it is unreasonable of government is to approach the private sector for help in flood stricken areas.

As it is, the private sector is making a huge contribution by means of rates and taxes. It is the state’s responsibility to make provision for emergencies. The current disasters are not unique to South Africa and in a similar manner where fifty- and hundred year flood levels have been determined and which should be respected by the citizens, government should have provided for access to an emergency fund for exactly such occurrences.

“The government took a deliberate decision that they are the sole custodians of rivers, and while many questions are being raised about the lack of effective flood control mechanisms, the question may well be posed whether government should not be held accountable for ‘it’s’ water causing the flood damage.”

Much of the damage has also been caused because people who blatantly ignore flood lines whilst government has not ensured that such levels are respected. “Therefore the onus rests on government to provide disaster relief and not and not on an over-taxed private sector”, according to Mr Louis Meintjes, Deputy President of TAU SA.