Mpumalanga to be declared drought disaster zone

Jenni Evans, News24

Cape Town - Mpumanaga is about to be declared a disaster zone in a drought that will need at least R900m in relief and mitigation.

Trevor Balzer, from the department of water and sanitation's drought co-ordination centre, told Parliament's committee on Water and Sanitation that Mpumalanga is about to be declared a drought disaster area, joining the ranks of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and the Free State.

He said the drought in KwaZulu-Natal was ''extreme'' with Hazelmere Dam sitting at 25% full, which affected supplies to Durban.

There was no drought declared yet in the Eastern Cape.

Gauteng may be hot, with phase two water restrictions in place, but there is no drought, the committee heard earlier from Matlakane Motloung, deputy director general for communication services for the department.

Balzer said there was a joint operations centre co-ordinating relief efforts.