The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has welcomed the briefing it received today from the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) on disaster risk reduction strategies for the upcoming winter season and has asked the NDMC for a separate report indicating the landscape of fire stations in the local municipalities and their capacities and readiness for the winter season.
The committee heard that South Africa is exposed to various weather hazards, including snow, diseases, drought, fire, tropical cyclones and severe weather hazards that can trigger widespread hardship and devastation. It heard that the Department of Cooperative Governance, through the NDMC continues to promote an integrated and coordinated system of disaster management, with particular emphasis on prevention and mitigation by all relevant stakeholders.
In assuring the committee about their preparedness, the head of the NDMC, Dr Elias Sithole, said the Department of Cooperative Governance continues to promote an integrated and coordinated system of disaster management, with special emphasis on prevention and mitigation by all relevant stakeholders.
He emphasised their preparedness measures for the winter season highlighting, among other things, planning for the 2023 winter season, seasonal forecast, disaster risk assessment and winter hazard profile, disaster risk reduction strategies, critical areas of concern and required interventions.
During engagements, the committee told the NDMC about the incapacity of fire stations in the majority of municipalities and as a result structures and velds burn until they are finished as if there are no fire stations in their municipalities to provide fire extinguishing services. The committee told Dr Sithole to ensure that the management for fire fighting services must be decentralised and must be at ward level to ensure that fire is fought speedily as soon as it starts.
Issued by The Chairperson of The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa