Meeting SummaryThe Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs briefed the Portfolio Committee on the short-term weather forecast; the state of the levels of key dams and river systems which had a direct impact on some of the recent disaster incidents; the key disaster management actions undertaken to date; and priority actions going forward.
The National Joint Operating Committee had recently been constituted to assess information received across provinces and funding options available across departments. Sectors and departments in all provinces were being assisted with a framework for disaster risk management to ensure proactive measures were in place in future. These were expected to be in place by the end of March.
The Deputy Minister said that although the Disaster Management Act was remarkable by any standard and had been used by the United Nations as a model for other countries, it was not sensitive to the environmental degradation taking effect and it was necessary to re-examine policy and legislation.
Members asked how many lives had been claimed as a result of the disasters; what the deadlines were for the various departments providing social relief of distress; and for what time period mobile school education was expected to persist. They also asked if there was preparation for the problem of housing; what the extent of damages was and what amount of money was allocated for damages in the Western Cape; for clarification on whether the housing damaged was classified as informal or formal housing; and if there was a strategy for the Disaster Management institutions to assist with municipal capacity.