The national state of disaster that was declared earlier this year in terms of the drought which has affected large parts of South Africa has now formally lapsed, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday.
In a statement, Mkhize said that since the declaration on March 13, various interventions had been initiated or intensified by the respective spheres of government to deal with the acute phase of the drought in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and some smaller pockets in the country.
"The respective spheres of government mobilised and reprioritised resources in their existing allocations, expedited procurement processes and accessed R433.524-million from the respective disaster grants to implement the augmentation and other immediate relief projects," the statement said.
"Of this amount, R348.836-million was transferred during 2017/18 financial year and R84.678-million will be transferred from the Provincial Disaster Grant during 2018/19 financial year. The implementation of these immediate relief and augmentation projects are ongoing and have evidently already mitigated the immediate impact of the drought."
The statement added that during May 2018, the National Joint Drought Coordinating Committee (NJDCC) conducted assessments which showed that the acute phase of the drought in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and some smaller pockets in the country "is at its end and is now entering the resilience building phase".
Subsequently, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs decided to allow the national state of disaster to lapse on 13 June 2018.