The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Mr Ntibi Modise, has called on people in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces to be vigilant of abrupt and extreme weather events that might lead to injuries and the loss of life.
Mr Modise said the unusual weather experienced in the Cape on the weekend was severe and needed people to exercise caution when outside. “The committee is concerned about the welfare of the people especially the poor. It calls on the communities to exercise caution in all their daily activities.” Mr Modise also said late wet and cold weather is a surprise for many and might cause challenges for those communities who dwell on unstructured and unserviced settlements.”
He continued: “Some settlements Cape Town dwellings are built below the flood-line which brings all sorts of challenges and risks when storms and flooding occur. We are really concerned and would prefer if the City of Cape Town gets involved with meaningful intervention.”
The Western Cape experienced unexpected inclement weather that led to the Cape Storms over the heritage weekend. A number of trees around the City of Cape Town had been uprooted with road closures reported across the province. A number of informal settlements were flooded, and people were left with no choice.
Mr Modise said it was difficult not to see the weekend weather variation in the context of climate change. “The weekend weather events were a reminder that local municipalities needed to conscientize communities about the climate change and need to factor it into their future plannings around issues of human settlements.”
The committee adopted its report on the Climate Change Bill last week and will be referred to the National Assembly for debate and will thereafter be referred to the National Council of Provinces. “For our committee there remains much work ahead related to service delivery and following up on parliamentary recommendations. Some key areas include enhancing parliamentary systems and processes in supporting a more robust legislative process such as improved public consultations and communication.”
He added: “Additionally, stakeholders were clear on the need for education and awareness programmes at national levels down to municipalities needing further attention in partnership with the non-governmental organisations (NGOs),”
Mr Modise said the committee will not fail on this task and that it will ensure that communities are alert to the new reality of climate change that they need to live with.
Issued by the Parliamentary communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Ntibi Modise