PRETORIA–The South African government has made 433.524 million Rand (about 36.5 million US dollars) available from the disaster grants for immediate drought disaster relief funding for the three-most affected provinces — Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces — over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 fiscal years.

Of the 433.524 million Rand, a sum of 348.846 million Rand is to be transferred in the 2017/18 fiscal year, with the remaining 84.678 million Rand to be transferred in 2018/19, says Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize.

He announced Thursday that the approval and transfer of these funds was based on the conditions for the Municipal Provincial Disaster Grants, as stipulated in the applicable Grant Framework.

The funds were transferred to the recipients on March 19, 2018, except for the remaining funds for the agriculture sector in Northern Cape which will be transferred in two separate installments during the 2018/19 fiscal year, based on the conditions on the ground, as well as progress on the implementation of relief measures within affected communities.

Mkhize urged the grant recipients, which are the provinces, including their relevant departments and municipalities, to implement the drought relief projects swiftly without any delay. The focus should be on the quality of the work done, value for money and accountability on the utilisation of public funds, through the guidance of relevant provincial treasuries.

The department will co-ordinate the provision of support, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of implementation of relief measures by the provinces and municipalities.