Fi­re grant pro­cess well un­der­way

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Voorblad - Mar­tin Ha­t­chu­el * Mo­re in­fo: www.gar­den­rou­te­re­

A te­am of 10 pe­op­le, in­clu­ding quan­ti­ty sur­veyors, pro­ject ma­na­gers, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tants, and en­gi­neers, are cur­rent­ly wor­king in the Gar­den Rou­te to as­sess ap­pli­ca­ti­ons for grant fun­ding in the wa­ke of the storms and fi­res that to­re through the re­gi­on du­ring Ju­ne 2017.

Ac­cor­ding to E­den Dis­trict mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty e­mer­gen­cy ser­vi­ces ma­na­ger Ger­hard Ot­to, the te­am is em­ploy­ed by K­waZu­lu-Na­tal­ba­sed Fo­cus Pro­ject Ma­na­gers and Quan­ti­ty Sur­veyors, which was ap­poin­ted by the Na­ti­o­nal Di­sas­ter Ma­na­ge­ment Cen­t­re (NDMC) as the pro­fes­si­o­nal ser­vi­ce pro­vi­der for the as­ses­sments.

Ot­to says the si­ze and sco­pe of the ap­pli­ca­ti­ons ha­ve been e­vol­ving as of­fi­ci­als and plan­ners ha­ve be­co­me a­wa­re of the ex­act na­tu­re and ex­tent of the di­sas­ter.

“We’ve found in the pe­ri­od sin­ce the fi­res that, for ex­am­ple, so­me of our ro­ads ha­ve be­gun sub­si­ding, e­ven though the ver­ges we­re sta­bi­li­sed im­me­di­a­te­ly af­ter the di­sas­ter – so this cost has been ad­ded to the ap­pli­ca­ti­on.

“Si­mi­lar­ly, we now feel that a­lien cle­a­ring is of ut­most im­por­tan­ce sin­ce t­hings li­ke watt­le and rooi­krans ha­ve be­gun to ger­mi­na­te, and we need to re­mo­ve the seed­lings whi­le it’s still fe­a­si­ble to hand-pull them, and be­fo­re they be­co­me an e­ven lar­ger pro­blem,” he said.

Two ty­pes of grant

Ot­to ex­plains that the ap­pli­ca­ti­ons fall in­to two ca­te­go­ries: e­mer­gen­cy grant fun­ding, and di­sas­ter re­ha­bi­li­ta­ti­on and re­con­structi­on fun­ding.

“E­mer­gen­cy grant fun­ding co­vers the cost of pro­jects that we had to do in the first three mont­hs af­ter the di­sas­ter, and which we­re paid for at the ti­me by the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties in­vol­ved.

“The­se pay­ments ca­me mos­t­ly out of the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties’ o­pe­ra­ting bud­gets, so if the­se ap­pli­ca­ti­ons are success­ful, the grants will reim­bur­se the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties, which will en­s­u­re that their bud­gets last their full terms,” he says.

“Di­sas­ter re­ha­bi­li­ta­ti­on and re­con­structi­on fun­ding co­vers lon­ger-term pro­jects li­ke in­fra­struc­tu­re re­pair, for which we u­su­al­ly pro­vi­de the NDMC with mul­ti-y­e­ar bud­gets.”

Alt­hough the fi­re da­ma­ge was ex­ten­si­ve, Ot­to points out that so­me re­gi­ons of the dis­trict suf­fe­red da­ma­ge from the storm­strength winds, which gus­ted at up to 97km/h – and that the cost of re­pai­ring this da­ma­ge is al­so in­clu­ded in the ap­pli­ca­ti­ons.

“The ex­tent and cost of wind da­ma­ge to RDP hou­ses in the Ge­or­ge a­rea are al­so being as­ses­sed and ve­ri­fied at the mo­ment,” he said.


Ot­to said that the fo­cus te­am is ex­pected to com­ple­te its ve­ri­fi­ca­ti­ons and as­ses­sments du­ring the cour­se of this week, and that the te­am will then is­sue a fi­nal list of pro­jects i­den­ti­fied for grant fun­ding.

The chai­r­per­son of the Gar­den Rou­te Re­build I­ni­ti­a­ti­ve’s s­teer­ing com­mit­tee, Dr Hil­de­gar­de Fast, said, “The pro­fes­si­o­nal stan­ding of the ser­vi­ce pro­vi­der should en­s­u­re that this is a cre­di­ble ve­ri­fi­ca­ti­on pro­cess, with fi­nal a­mounts that ma­ke sen­se.”

Fast poin­ted out that all de­part­ments de­a­ling with re­ha­bi­li­ta­ti­on and re­con­structi­on ma­ke their own ap­pli­ca­ti­ons to the NDMC.

“On­ce the NDMC has de­ci­ded that it will fund an ap­pli­ca­ti­on, its de­ci­si­on has to be pu­blis­hed in the Go­vern­ment Ga­zet­te, and the mo­ney then g­oes di­rect­ly to the de­part­ments con­cer­ned.

“We are ho­ping to get in­to the bud­get pro­cess for 1 A­pril.”

Fast emp­ha­si­sed that no­ne of the fun­ding g­oes to in­di­vi­du­al victims of the fi­res or the storm. “The­se ap­pli­ca­ti­ons are com­ple­te­ly se­pa­ra­te from the hu­ma­ni­ta­ri­an sup­port pro­vi­ded du­ring and im­me­di­a­te­ly af­ter the di­sas­ter,” she said. –

P­ho­to: Sup­p­lied

The si­ze and sco­pe of the ap­pli­ca­ti­ons for grants ha­ve been e­vol­ving as of­fi­ci­als and plan­ners ha­ve be­co­me a­wa­re of the ex­act na­tu­re and ex­tent of the di­sas­ter fol­lo­wing the Ju­ne 2017 fi­res, says E­den Dis­trict mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty e­mer­gen­cy ser­vi­ces ma­na­ger Ger­hard Ot­to.

Newspapers in Afrikaans

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.