Logistics for Hosting Fire Conference: Subcommittee Reportbacks

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Meeting report

HOUSING PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
16 February 2005
LOGISTICS FOR HOSTING FIRE CONFERENCE: SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTBACKS

Chairperson
: Ms Z Kota (ANC)

Documents handed out:
None

SUMMARY
The Committee Management sub-committee met to report on their teams’ progress in planning their upcoming fire conference. Members suggested various key roleplayers to invite, and other logistical details.

MINUTES
The Chairperson stated that the meeting was an action meeting by the Management Committee but all Members were welcome. She asked Mr Dodovu to make a report on issues relating to the Committee request for developing and funding programmes on social housing and housing co-operatives.

Mr T Dodovu (ANC) reported had been in touch with the Managing Director (MD) for the Social Housing Foundation. The latter had written letters to Denmark and the Netherlands governments and was awaiting responses. His meeting with the Foundation’s MD last Friday had had to be postponed.

The Chairperson encouraged Mr Dodovu to seek other avenues in this regard, in line with the Committee’s efforts to engage with the international community. The Committee had revitalised its relationship with United Nations Habitat.

Mr D Mabena (ANC) reported on the Fire Conference being organised by the Committee. Hotels could not be used to host the conference due to the Committee’s desire to invite as many people as possible. Three hotels had been researched and they did not seem conducive for hosting the conference.

The Chairperson stated that it was becoming clear that the conference would be held in Parliament. She asked Mr Schneemann to make a report on the theme, content and other aspects of the conference. She suggested that the Management Committee make a concrete report to Members by next week.

Mr G Schneemann (ANC) stated that his team had suggested the following possible invitations: the Minister of Housing, the Mayor of Cape Town, the MEC for Housing in the Western Cape and perhaps other MECs for Housing, the chairperson of the local committee for housing, the local government and perhaps provincial chairpersons, National Assembly and National Council of Provinces MPs and various NGOs, as well as United National Habitat and representatives of communities in the Western Cape.

Input and output of the conference for the two days had also been considered. Day one would primarily be focus on presentations and inputs. Day two would be focus on taking the inputs from day one and developing these into proposals for the way forward. Outcomes that would be considered in the light of the current legislation that covered emergency services. Possible legal amendments would also be considered. His team was also considering hosting a breakfast meeting with the Minister of Housing to increase publicity.

The Chairperson suggested that Members be allowed to make amendments and subtractions from the programme. Although the conference was specifically about fires, it was broadly about managing natural disasters.

Ms N Ngele (ANC) suggested that if the conference would cover natural disaster in general, then the Department of Environmental Affairs needed to be invited.

Mr B Dhlamini (ANC) suggested that there were informal settlements all over Cape Town and other cities and as such, it would be important to request significant individuals from the Department of Local Government and Land Affairs. It was important to consider the areas that were most affected by fire and natural disasters a high priority.

Mr D Mabena (ANC) suggested that it would be worthwhile to include leaders on building and material technologies on the list of invitations.

Mr T Dodovu (ANC) stated that the psychological effects of disasters and fire were very grave. As such, it was important to invite the Department of Social Development to brief the conference on these issues.

Mr M Sonto (ANC) stated that it was important to invite only key stakeholders. He suggested that one of these was Eskom. It was important for inhabitants of informal settlements to know the danger of illegal electricity connections.

Ms F Batyi (ID) agreed and added that there was also the issue of these informal settlers selling electric wires.

The Chairperson stated that efforts would be made to ensure a wide selection of representation.

The meeting was adjourned.

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