Disaster management in NC is in a state of emergency

Andrew Louw

DA Provincial Leader

The Northern Cape government does not take disaster management seriously. During the Department of Cooperative Government’s annual report presentation at the legislature today, it was revealed that the Northern Cape does not yet have a disaster management centre.

The province has not yet been able to identify a building to house the disaster management unit. They indicated that they are now instead considering “piggybacking” on the Frances Baard and Sol Plaatje municipalities’ disaster initiatives.

As far back as 2009 already it came to light that all provinces, except for the Northern Cape, had established disaster management centres. Four years down the line nothing has changed. The provincial department of COGHSTA is still only talking about finalising the provincial disaster management framework. They have also yet to conduct a disaster risk profile for the province.

This is in clear contravention of section 29 of the Disaster Management Act of 2002, which mandates all provinces to establish disaster management centres.

Disasters such as floods, fires and droughts are familiar events in the Northern Cape.

Many of our province’s people continue to live in poverty and are very sensitive to disruptions caused by disaster events like floods, fires and droughts. We need a proper disaster management structure to protect and assist poor residents in difficult times. COGHSTA is clearly failing in this important mandate.

The DA will continually push in the legislature for COGHSTA to establish a disaster management centre as soon as possible.