Drought xxxThe Western Cape Local Government is in negotiations with the National Disaster Management Centre for emergency funding to assist drought stricken Beaufort West.

News24 reported on Tuesday that the centre had declined the local government’s request to provide the town with emergency funding due to the initial stated terms.

According to James-Brent Styan, spokesperson for Western Cape local government MEC Anton Bredell, the province is in the process of re-negotiating the terms.

The situation in Beaufort West is dire with the majority (80%) of the town’s current water supply coming from 32 boreholes after the Gamka Dam, which is the Central Karoo town’s main water source, dried up earlier this year.

A disaster area

The town is also relying on a water reclamation plant for its water supply and according to Eye Witness News (EWN) the R23 million cash injection from the National Disaster Management Centre is needed for five additional boreholes.

Styan previously said that, aside from Beaufort West, the areas worst affected by the Western Cape drought included the City of Cape Town, Kannaland, Knysna and Bitou and according to News24 the province was declared a provincial disaster area in May.

“The provincial disaster management centre has been activated and continues to monitor the situation across the province,” Styan said.