While Sisulu was mum on how much they would allocate to the province, Mabuyane said they needed at least R600m to address the disaster in the interim.
Sisulu said the drought was being felt in other provinces such as Limpopo and the Northern Cape, but households in the Eastern Cape, especially in rural areas, the agricultural sector and businesses, had been hit hardest.
She was accompanied by her two deputy ministers, Pam Tshwete and David Mahlobo, and an entourage of her department’s administration bosses, who were later on Monday due to visit the drought-stricken Butterworth area.
Though the provincial department of rural development & agrarian reform allocated at least R74m to farmers late in 2019 — the consequences of the drought have been dire with food supply threatened and livestock dying because of dam levels that have plummeted to below 10% in some areas.
Sisulu said her department would give special focus to drought “hotspot areas” around Ngqushwa municipality, Mnquma, Mbhashe, Raymond Mhlaba, Cala, Ngcobo, Makana, Graaff-Reinet and Enoch Mgijima.
Buffalo City Metro has already implemented stage three water restrictions because of dwindling dam levels.
The water restrictions in the metro were introduced in late November.
Sisulu, who said government was working on finding lasting solutions for the provision of water to communities, said carting water was an interim and costly measure.
“In areas where there is absolutely no water, we rely on water tankering, but such an exercise is sometimes problematic and brings many challenges in some parts, hence we want to do away with water tankering in future and find sustainable ways of providing decent water to our people