Human Settlements: Disaster Management – turnaround time

Matlhodi Maseko MPP

DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Human Settlements

Speaker, the Western Cape Government has the Provincial Disaster Management Act in place. It provides the legal framework for acting and making decisions, in the case of a disaster.

Speaker, the Disaster Risk Management Centre has made arrangements with SASSA to extend the provision of humanitarian relief aid.

We can ensure that we are prepared but we cannot predict the scale of disaster before it happens, therefore we cannot predict how long the turnaround time will be. We know November is the start of the dry season, how will we predict how many fires there will be in informal settlements? We know that April is the start of the wet season, how can we predict how many families are going to be affected by floods?

If there are 500 families who are occupying a wetland, where their homes will be flooded during the rainy season, it means that those families will have to be accommodated elsewhere. Once they have been accommodated in a local community hall, for example, how can government simply return them to the same wetland as where they have been relocated from?

We need to make land available for them. We need to have basic services in place, like water sanitation and electricity. We have to allow for procurement processes in order to deliver these services, so that we can relocate these families to a habitable environment.

Now, when the Honourable Member asks this question, he must also predict the future and stipulate how many fires and floods there will be in the year in question.

Perhaps the Member should rather ask how prepared the department is to cope with disasters and what the disaster management plans are.