Hansard: NCOP: Plenary; Debate on disaster management: building a viable and innovative disaster response and management system; Debate on Intergovernmental relations: Finding a viable solution for the settlement of intergovernmental debt

House: National Council of Provinces

Date of Meeting: 22 Aug 2013


No summary available.


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22 AUGUST 2013






The Council met at 14:02.

The Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.




Mr K A SINCLAIR: I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the Council I shall move:

That the Council-

(1) debates the arrest of six paedophiles aged 46, 49 and 63 in

five provinces;

(2) notes that these paedophiles are people who have

prestigious positions in our society and parents trusted

them with the lives of some of their children;

(3) further notes that the web of DVDs, cell-phones,

computers, computer tablets, external hard drives, USBs, cameras and video cameras used to capture and store these gruesome acts of child pornography were confiscated by the police;

(4) calls on all the stakeholders to work together and swiftly

bring all the culprits to book, including

registering these culprits, if found guilty, in the

National Register of Sexual Offenders of children.

Thank you.



Mr F ADAMS: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that in the next sitting of the Council I shall move:

That the Council -

(1) notes that Premier Helen Zille of the Western Cape and the

City of Cape Town have, at long last, decided to

co-operate with the SA Police Service in the gang-

ridden area of Manenberg by making resources and the

Metro police available to assist the police to patrol the

schools in the Manenberg area after she had exploited the situation for almost a year for her own political agenda;

(2) welcomes their willingness to co-operate, especially in

view of the fact that the deployment of the army to the area would only be a temporary solution, and more so that an integrated approach is required involving communities, parents, NGOs, intergovernmental organisations, corporations and all other relevant stakeholders. This is a strategy that was received with enthusiasm by Mayor De Lille of Cape Town in her meeting with the Minister of Police;

(3) further notes that the co-operation of the Western Cape

government and the City of Cape Town, by deploying additional law enforcement staff to the area to assist the police, gives the police the space to conduct investigations and ensure gang members are brought to justice; and

(4) takes this opportunity to call on Premier Zille to join

Mayor De Lille in her support of the strategy of the Minister of Police and his department.

Thank you.


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(Draft Resolution)

Mr T M H MOFOKENG: Chair, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes that last Friday and Monday the police arrested two members of the so-called ``Crowbar Gang'' which is notorious for their burglary methods and who have created havoc in residential areas in Cape Town;

(2) further notes that these thieves, who are part of several gangs that operate in different areas, are professional criminals who use crowbars and other tools to break open security gates and doors of homes;

(3) also notes that they have been terrorising communities and robbing households indiscriminately in recent weeks;

(4) further notes that the police know the identities of other gang members and further arrests are imminent;

(5) takes this opportunity to commend and thank the police for their dedication and commitment and for arresting these criminals; and

(6) calls on the public to be on the alert and to be the eyes and ears of the police in ensuring that this scourge of housebreaking and robbery, as well as other criminal activity, is rooted out.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Ms D Z RANTHO: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes the success of the Macadamia Farming Project of the community of Ncera, a sprawling rural settlement near East London in the Eastern Cape;

(2) further notes the project is not only aimed at creating long-term sustainable economic opportunities and jobs in the region but also at training and skills development, as well as further development of sustainable black farmers and social upliftment projects;

(3) also notes that nine years after the community planted the first macadamia trees, they recently celebrated the first harvest yielded from their initial 50-hectare macadamia nut plantation, currently part of a total of 300 hectares;

(4) further notes that the community owns the full value chain of the project from the nursery to the plantation, the processing plant and the products that are supplied to local and international markets;

(5) commends the community for their dedication to ensure the success of this project;

(6) commends government for its support of this project and its commitment towards the social upliftment of the people and the creation of sustainable jobs; and

(7) takes this opportunity to call on all communities across the country to follow suit with appropriate initiatives.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Mr D A WORTH: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the DA:

That the Council-

(1) notes that Fouriesburg, which is situated in the Dihlabeng Municipality in eastern Free State, has won the Small Town of the Year Award;

(2) further notes that this award of the Small Town of the Year is intended to improve tourism to the area and raise the town's profile;

(3) also notes that the prize money is R1 million to advertise the town;

(4) notes that Fouriesburg, with a population of 19 000 people, received 107 761 votes in the Kwêla Kyknet Competition; and

(5) finally notes that, despite water challenges, Fouriesburg did well by winning the award as a result of a collective effort.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Ms B V MNCUBE: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes with sadness the reports of the death of one of the daughters of our country, an activist, a leader and a jazz songstress of note, Beatrice "Sathima Bea" Benjamin;

(2) further notes that Sathima Bea Benjamin was born in Cape Town in 1936;

(3) also notes that by the early 1960s she had made a name for herself on the music and theatre scene;

(4) further notes that she toured the world, becoming well known in jazz circles as a regular feature at music festivals;

(5) also notes that she then settled in New York, where she established herself as a leading exponent of her musical genre and also got married to jazz legend, Abdullah Ibrahim;

(6) further notes that it was in New York where Benjamin took up the fight for liberation, assisting the ANC with fundraising concerts to raise awareness of the struggle;

(7) also notes that she recorded more than 10 albums and, in 2004, she was bestowed with the Order of Ikhamanga in silver at the National Orders Awards by the South African government for her excellent contribution as a jazz artist to the development of music in South Africa and internationally;

(8) also notes that she was also honoured for her contribution to the struggle against apartheid;

(9) finally notes that, just two weeks ago, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz awarded Benjamin with a Lifetime Achievement Award; and

(10) takes this opportunity to convey our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sathima Bea Benjamin during this difficult time.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Ms K V KEKETSI: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the ANC:

That the Council-

(1) notes with concern and shock that a construction worker from Durban was buried alive last week at a building site in Red Hill while he was digging a trench, despite him voicing his concern to the project manager about the unsafe conditions at the site and the danger of digging the trench without proper safety measures being in place;

(2) further notes that his concerns were ignored by the manager who ordered him to continue working;

(3) also notes that, shortly thereafter, a sandbank collapsed and fell onto the worker, burying him alive, and by the time he was taken out, he was already dead;

(4) further notes with concern that the workers of the construction company were working without any signed contracts or safety gear and with no safety measures in place;

(5) notes that after the incident, the construction company attempted to get the workers to sign contracts which they had refused;

(6) conveys it condolences to the family and the loved ones of the deceased worker; and

(7) takes this opportunity to call on the municipality, the Minister of Labour and the Department of Labour to launch an urgent and comprehensive investigation into the matter and to take appropriate action without delay.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Mr D D GAMEDE: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes reports of a partnership between the Northern Cape department of education and Anglo American's iron ore business, which will see Kumba Iron Ore handing over its successfully completed early childhood development, ECD, centres today;

(2) further notes that this partnership has led to Kumba building, equipping, and staffing nine ECD centres in the towns neighbouring its operations;

(3) also notes that construction and equipment costs were close to R39,6 million, with Kumba contributing R31,66 million and the department of education in the province contributing R7,9 million; and

(4) takes this opportunity to applaud this partnership, which shows what can be achieved when a mining company takes seriously its social responsibility commitment.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Mr A G MATILA: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes with appreciation the good work of the North West provincial government, through the efforts of the MEC for Human Settlements, Public Safety and Liaison, who, after undertaking to do so last week, helped the Mahlalela family as they buried their mother and grandmother;

(2) further notes that Ms Hlokwana Mahlalela, who was 109 years old and regarded as its oldest citizen, was buried with dignity yesterday at Rankelenyane village outside Rustenburg shortly after her shocking living conditions were exposed by the media;

(3) also notes that, at the time of her death, the provincial government had begun building her a house;

(4) notes that the department plans to complete the house soon and hand it over to the family in honour of their promise to Mahlalela; and

(5) takes this opportunity to commend the ANC-led provincial government in the North West for showing that it is a caring government of the people.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Mr R A LEES: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes the comments made by SA Reserve Bank Governor, Gill Marcus, that the Reserve Bank does not have the institutional authority or tools to undertake the structural reforms required to ensure that an economy grows faster or that unemployment is reduced at a faster pace;

(2) further notes that the Reserve Bank cannot determine the longer-run potential output of the economy; and

(3) calls upon the ANC, the Cabinet and National Treasury, especially in the lead-up to the 2014 elections, to uphold the independence of the Reserve Bank, to refrain from trying to influence the Reserve Bank and the Monetary Policy Committee, in particular, to reduce rates simply to stimulate growth, irrespective of other negative consequences.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: In the light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.




(Draft Resolution)

Ms M G BOROTO: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes with appreciation the reports of a rigorous campaign by the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, to clamp down on fraudulent beneficiaries;

(2) further notes Sassa's intention to use biometric systems to hire staff;

(3) also notes that they will do a thorough check on the 470 000 beneficiaries who did not register for social grants to find out whether they were fraudulently registered previously;

(4) further notes that the report indicates that 10 million beneficiaries have already been issued with Sassa's new Debit MasterCard;

(5) notes that the new card is equipped with features that will curb duplication and reduce fraud in the system; and

(6) commends the action taken by Sassa towards the prevention of and the general fight against fraud and corruption in the country.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the DA:

That the Council-

(1) notes that last night more than 50 ANC Youth League and SA Students' Congress, Sasco, members violently disrupted a DA Students' Organisation, Daso, meeting at the University of Limpopo;

(2) further notes that the DA members and leadership were assaulted and that the incident comes only a few hours after another Daso member was attacked and stabbed by a Sasco member at the Polokwane campus of the Tshwane University of Technology;

(3) also notes that it is clear that the ANC Youth League lost the direction of democracy and opted to resort to intimidation and violence;

(4) notes a clear disregard for the Constitution, which promotes tolerance and the democratic principle, as witnessed by the DA over the last two days;

(5) is informed that the DA will -

(a) open several criminal cases against these hooligans, pertaining to assault and damage to property; and

(b) further expedite plans to meet with management of the institutions of higher learning and the ANC in Limpopo to ensure that they take action; and

(6) demands immediate action by the management of the University of Limpopo and suspension of all the ringleaders who violently disrupted the DA meeting last night.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: In the light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.




(Draft Resolution)

Mr M P SIBANDE: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes with appreciation the reports of a partnership between the Limpopo provincial public works department and the Independent Development Trust, IDT, which culminated in the signing of a memorandum of understanding to roll out major infrastructure development projects in the province;

(2) further notes that, in terms of the agreement, the IDT will take charge of the building of schools and health facilities as part of efforts to help the department deliver on its mandate to see that social infrastructure is developed;

(3) also notes that while the IDT would be responsible for most of the capital projects, other functions would still be the responsibility of the provincial department;

(4) notes that the memorandum gives the provincial department of public works MEC powers of oversight on the project and to provide political leadership; and

(5) welcomes this great initiative which seeks to speed up service delivery.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Mr C J DE BEER: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes that the Auditor-General has, following the audit outcomes for 2012-13, congratulated the Gauteng provincial government on improving its audit results, which were an impressive improvement on the previous year's audit results;

(2) further notes that the improved audit results were achieved through a variety of interventions by the provincial government, such as strengthening leadership and stabilising management; strengthening capacity in strategic planning and financial management; ensuring the implementation of robust accounting practices; clamping down on overspending, and the like;

(3) also notes that the turnaround strategy for the health department is beginning to yield positive results;

(4) notes that the Auditor-General has also commended the department on its improved quality of performance;

(5) takes this opportunity to commend the Gauteng provincial government, provincial heads of department, the chief financial officers and other officials for their commitment and dedication towards clean audits, and to achieve even better results in future; and

(6) calls on all provincial departments across the country and on all municipalities to be committed and to leave no stone unturned towards achieving clean audits in 2014.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Mr A J NYAMBI: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes with concern that a police captain from Mbombela in Mpumalanga was arrested last week and charged with illegal trafficking in firearms, as well as corruption and theft;

(2) further notes that the arrest followed a year-long investigation after reports that weapons that were handed in by the public for destruction by the police were being sold from the Nelspruit police station, while a large number of firearm licences were found under the seat of his car;

(3) commends the police on this breakthrough; and

(4) takes this opportunity to call on the Minister of Police and his department to implement stringent measures to secure firearms that are in the possession or under the control of the police, and to ensure that firearms that are handed in for destruction are destroyed as soon as possible after they have been handed in.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.




(Draft Resolution)

Mr T E CHAANE: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council-

(1) notes that thousands of people in Cape Town, especially in informal settlements, have been severely affected and displaced by the recent wet and cold weather conditions;

(2) welcomes the assistance of the disaster response team of the City of Cape Town;

(3) further notes that while residents were struggling to scoop water out of their homes and some were forced to seek alternative shelter, the City spent millions on temporary relief measures by handing out blankets, baby kits, meals, and the like;

(4) recognises, however, that these dismal living conditions of the people in these areas are mainly a result of a lack of proper storm water drainage, infrastructure and other services, and the mere handing out of blankets and food does not solve the problem or improve the living conditions of the people who are faced with these conditions year after year; and

(5) calls on the City of Cape Town to end its crisis management of the situation and to implement a lasting solution to the problem by providing these communities with proper storm water drainage systems, infrastructure, housing, and other services.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: In the light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.


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Igama lamadoda.


Chairperson and hon members, I present a statement on behalf of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development on Proclamations made in terms of section 25 of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, Act 33 of 2004, dated 12 June 2013.

The Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development received a briefing on the proclamations made in terms of section 25 of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, Act 33 of 2004 as tabled in the following gazettes: Proclamation No 39, Proclamation no 40, published in the Government Gazette No 35566, dated 6 August 2012;

2. Proclamation No 41, Proclamation No 42, Proclamation No 43, published in the Government Gazette No 35599, dated 17

August 2012;

3. Proclamation No 57, Proclamation No 58, published in the

Government Gazette No 35713, dated 26 September 2012:

4. Proclamation No 64, published in the Government Gazette No

35807, dated 23 October 2012;

5. Proclamation No 1, published in the Government Gazette No

36055, dated 4 January 2013.

The Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development reports that it has concluded its deliberations on the Proclamations made in terms of section 25 of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, Act 33 of 2004 and recommends that the NCOP approve the said Proclamations. I thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Question put: That the Report be adopted.

IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.

Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


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Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chairperson, the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development, jointly with the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services, undertook an oversight visit to Groenpunt prison in January 2013, following the riots that took place in that maximum prison.

The select committee was informed on the causes of the riots, which included amongst others, the shortage of staff and collaboration between some personnel who were dissatisfied with the service and prisoners. The riot took place on a Monday between seven and nine January, wherein 74 inmates were injured and seven other personnel were also injured later.It was recorded that over 100 inmates were injured.

The delegation of the select committee met with the inmates from unit B1 of the prison, officials from the Department of Correctional Services, and the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services. A debriefing was held later and the findings of the committee included, amongst others, that prisoners have submitted their complaints. These complaints contained their grievances which were, amongst others, the shortages of food, mismanagement of the kitchen, lack of maintenance of the infrastructure, poor health services and shortages of nurses.

The committee further held sessions with ordinary prison officials during which issues of the relationship between management and personnel were highlighted, problems of working shifts, shortages of staff and staff members being overworked.

The area commissioner who is in charge of the Free State and Northern Cape informed the committee about steps that have been taken following the riots, which included, amongst others, cautionary suspension of the head of the correctional centre, the area commissioner and another official.

Amongst other problems highlighted were the shortages of administrative staff who were wrongly allocated to the commissioner's office and lack of infrastructure and the low morale amongst the personnel that work in the prison.

Whilst on the premises the committee witnessed an attack on a personnel member who was in charge of them and was hit by a lock. The committee further took a tour of the prison and witnessed the poor infrastructure in some of the cells in the facility , and also the poor conditions of the health facility in the prison.

The committee therefore requested an immediate quarterly report on the prison on the management and corrective measures being undertaken, and directed the Department of Correctional Services management to beef up the staff complement, and asked the parole committee to regularly visit the inmates to ascertain their needs.

We therefore recommend that the Council adopt this oversight report undertaken by the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development. Thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Question put: That the Report be adopted.

IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.

Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.

Third order

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Mr A G MATILA: Chairperson, the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development, having considered the annual performance plan, APP, strategic plan and the Budget Vote of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate on 6 May 2013, reports as follows: The alignment of the strategic plan and the annual performance plan with the new Act has seen the department become part of the Justice, Crime Prevention, Police and Security cluster. It has also established a satellite office in Pretoria and has started to build relationships with key stakeholders.

The committee recommends that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Ipid, must eliminate the backlog of cases it is investigating. In particular, there should be more pressure exerted on the SA Police Service to implement the recommendations of the Domestic Violence Act.

Secondly, the Ipid should develop a strategy that specifically addresses increasing police brutality. Ipid should hold media and public briefings on its investigations at least once a month to give the public an update on its progress. The committee recommends that this House adopts the report. Thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Question put: That the Report be adopted.

IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.

Report accordingly adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


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(Subject for Discussion)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Chairperson, hon members, good afternoon. It is an honour and a pleasure to be back in the NCOP in a different capacity, a capacity that will hopefully also brings me closer to the work of the Council. Indeed, it is an honour to be here as a Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and to share some thoughts with the Council regarding the very important issue of disaster management. I think, as South Africa, we have come a long way in the implementation of the legislative framework governing disaster management in the country while also contributing to a regional and a global agenda.

In line with international trends and our national objectives of efficient and effective management of our nation's resources, South Africa's disaster management policy and legislation underscores the importance of preventing human, economic and property losses, and avoiding environmental degradation. Preparedness measures for more efficient rescue operations will always remain necessary. However, there is common agreement that much greater attention should be directed to the introduction of preventative strategies aimed at saving lives and protecting assets before they are lost.

One of the key observations is that very often scarce resources are often diverted for disaster relief at the expense of growth and developmental opportunities, resulting in the worsening of the plight of poverty-stricken communities. The plight of the most vulnerable sections of our population and the very cause of their vulnerability, namely poverty, cannot be ignored.

In line with government's priorities, the disaster management approach pays specific attention to the pressing needs of poor communities in relation to both natural and human-induced disasters in the context of a developmental and capable state. Whether it is responding to natural disasters, curtailing humanitarian crises, mitigating conflict or effectively implementing development policy, a capable state and its institutions must lead the way.

Our South African National Development Plan Vision for 2030 highlights the elements of a decent standard of living as follows:

Income, through employment or social security, is critical to defining living standards, but human beings need more than income. They need adequate nutrition, they need transport to get to work, and they desire safe communities and clean neighbourhoods. These elements require action either from individuals, government, communities or the private sector.

One of the critical actions to achieve this has been identified as implementing interventions that are environmentally sustainable and resilient to future disasters.

Climate change, global warming, energy efficiency and a variety of recent natural disasters indicate the vulnerability of urban communities and the urgent need to build resilience. South Africa has to adapt to the expected impacts of climate change and, in the same breath, build social, economic and physical resilience.

Disaster-risk reduction and management is a cross-cutting issue which affects all sectors of government and society. To this end, I can confirm that key stakeholders in disaster management have come to a realisation that no amount of effective service delivery, poverty reduction and sustainable development can be realised without the parallel implementation of a disaster-reduction agenda.

This is evident in the manner in which the function is taking a central position in the discussions and programming within various sectors, spheres of government and other disciplines.

Chairperson, I wish to take this opportunity to provide a brief overview of the risk profile of South Africa and share the progress made to address issues of disaster-risk reduction. Like many other developing countries, South Africa faces a wide range of hazards including drought, fires, cyclones and severe storms that can trigger widespread hardship and devastation. We only have to think of what has happened here in the Western Cape, in the past couple of weeks, to realise the dangers that we face. The negative impact of these disasters leave the country to deal with issues such as loss of lives, damage to infrastructure and the environment, disrupted livelihoods, schooling and social services.

Recently, our national government allocated funds amounting to almost R60 million to the municipal disaster grant for the affected municipalities in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape to deal with the effects of disasters that affected our communities. Local and provincial states of disaster were declared in accordance with sections 41 and 55 of the Disaster Management Act, Act 57 of 2002.

In addition, the country also shares borders with six Southern African neighbours. This contributes to both natural and human-induced transborder risks, as well as humanitarian assistance obligations in times of emergency. I think we only have to think of the sterling work done by our SA Defence Force in Mozambique a couple of years ago to illustrate this point.

The current South African disaster management legislation is internationally reputed for its emphasis on prevention and its comprehensive approach to disaster-risk reduction. However, since the promulgation of the Act on 15 January 2003, and during the subsequent commencement of the legislation in the various spheres of government, some challenges were experienced to varying degrees in implementing all aspects of the legislation effectively.

The key issues that require attention in current policy and legislation in South Africa have been highlighted in a number of research reports and submissions. In considering these reports and views, the need was acknowledged to call for a review of the Act. The National Disaster Management Centre embarked on a review process and Cabinet has approved the Disaster Management Amendment Bill for publication on 12 June 2013. The Bill has subsequently been published for public comment in the Government Gazette.

To ensure more effective integration of disaster-risk considerations into sustainable development policies, planning and programming at all levels, we continue to engage with organs of state across the spheres of government on issues of disaster management. Several disaster management plans were received from sectors, provincial, municipal and national stakeholders. These relate to roads and transport, electricity, water affairs, nuclear power, defence, police services, agriculture, amongst others. Work has also been done to ensure the integration of disaster reduction measures within the municipal Integrated Development Plans, IDP.

Furthermore, the national disaster management centres and the Department of Environmental Affairs work in close collaboration to promote mechanisms and partnerships that integrate climate change, adaptation and disaster risk reduction into development planning.

The Act stipulates the establishment of a National Disaster Management Centre responsible for promoting integrated and co-ordinated national disaster management policy. The Act also gives explicit priority to the application of the principle of co-operative governance for the purpose of disaster management and emphasizes the involvement of all stakeholders in strengthening the capabilities of national, provincial and municipal organs of state to reduce the likelihood and severity of disasters. It also calls for the establishment of arrangements for co-operation with international role-players and countries in the region.

In our efforts toward the development and strengthening of institutions, mechanisms and capacities at all levels, in particular at the community level, that can systematically contribute to building resilience to hazards, 62 disaster management centres have been established across provincial and municipal spheres of government, all of them supported by the National Disaster Management Centre; the respective national, provincial and municipal disaster management advisory forums are functional to serve as a platform for sharing information and exchanging ideas on disaster-risk reduction issues.

These are supported by technical task teams led by the sectors with responsibility on specialised disaster-risk reduction matters. Work is also being done around building disaster management capacity and awareness through structured councillor workshops across the country as well as positive engagement with traditional leaders on risk reduction. The country also participates in regional and subregional African Union, AU, and Southern African Development Community, SADC matters as they relate to disaster-risk reduction. There is also active involvement of the business sector in risk reduction through initiatives such as the Business Adopt-A-Municipality programme. Political forums are being encouraged at provincial and municipal levels to oversee issues of disaster-risk reduction in development planning and implementation.

We should be mindful that disaster-risk reduction finds expression through measures such as the disaster management integration within the municipal IDPs; the design and roll out of disaster-risk reduction public awareness and advocacy programmes; the design and roll-out of training and research programmes; the design and deployment of disaster plans for incidents, events and for long-term risk management; and also the continual assessment of critical infrastructure to assess safety standards.

In co-operation with the SA Police Service and the SA National Defence Force, mechanisms for event-based planning have been put in place to ensure the successful staging of significant events. I think we can only think of events such as African Cup of Nations, Afcon, the ANC National Conference in 2012, the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Brics Summit in 2013, etc. All of them are events on a huge scale that passed off without any serious incident.

Honourable members, you will agree that early warning systems are also critical tools within disaster risk management. An effective early warning system requires understanding disaster risk; monitoring and forecasting hazards through science and technology, generating accurate and timely warnings; implementing dissemination of warnings to communities at risk in a way that is easily understood; and ensuring governments and communities are prepared and ready to react appropriately to both natural and government-issued warnings.

The National Disaster Management Centre works in close collaboration with entities such as the SA Weather Service to provide such early warning information. You will be pleased to know that the country's response mechanism has been improved with the introduction of the disaster grant funding for provincial and municipal disaster incidents. This is a Schedule 8 fund under the Division of Revenue Act, aimed at taking care of the immediate needs of communities following declared disasters. Where adequately utilized, the implementation of the grant has proven to be effective in enhancing our response capacity. Long-term funding for disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes is covered through the government budget planning processes.

The main challenges hampering the effective functioning of disaster management centres in provinces and in district municipalities were highlighted in research as being financial challenges, lack of equipment, the need for trained and skilled personnel, obtaining the necessary political will, inadequate support of sector departments and community participation, and lack of effective communication strategies.

The National Disaster Management Centre has recently established a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit. The primary purpose of this unit is to develop and implement an integrated system of monitoring, reporting and evaluating the extent to which disasters are being co-ordinated across the three spheres of government. Further, the role of the unit is to ensure that all stakeholders involved in disaster management implement the Disaster Management Act. The Monitoring and Evaluation Unit will provide unique information on the successes and weaknesses of the system of disaster management in our country. It will assist us to identify what works, what does not, and the reasons why. For us to be able to build a viable and innovative disaster response and management system, we need a strong monitoring and evaluation system.

Of major importance will be the participation of civil society in the monitoring of the system of disaster management at a local level through participatory monitoring. Monitoring and evaluation provides a vehicle to magnify the voice of civil society and to put additional pressure on government to achieve higher levels of performance. Monitoring and evaluation findings can contribute to sound governance in a number of ways such as evidence-based policy making, including budget decision-making, policy development, management, and accountability.

The benefits of this new unit will ensure that the National Disaster Management Centre and other relevant stakeholders move from opinion-based policy towards evidence-based policy. This is mainly due to the nature of the policy environment as well as the national technical capacity to provide good quality and trustworthy evidence needed within the disaster management environment. The unit will be capacitated over the next three years.

Through the measures and activities alluded to above, we strive to address the key challenges to ensure the effective implementation of disaster management across the spheres of government.

In conclusion, it is important to point out that disaster management is everybody's business at both planning and implementation levels. The cost of response and recovery far outweighs the cost of risk reduction. The United States government estimates that spending $1 on risk reduction will save $7 on response and recovery.

We also contend that prevention is better than cure. It can therefore be argued with confidence that disaster-risk reduction must be a strategic focus of implementing disaster management.

The integrated and trans-disciplinary nature of the function dictates that the different sectors, levels and disciplines must play an active role in risk reduction in line with their respective policies and strategies. The best way of reducing the effect of disasters is by the integration of resilience in the daily service delivery, poverty reduction and sustainable development programmes.

The NCOP therefore has a critical role to play in ensuring that the disaster management function assumes its strategic role of supporting development in our localities.

This implies that a disaster-risk reduction orientation should be central to the oversight work of the Council. This responsibility must be discharged in collaboration with other role-players, including the communities at risk. This is motivated by the fact that, in the words of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon:

Reducing disaster risk and increasing resilience to natural hazards in different development sectors can have multiplier effects and accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Chairperson, I thank you for your attention and the privilege of being in the Council once again. [Applause.]


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Ms Z C FAKU: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, distinguished guests, as I contribute to today's debate, let me take this opportunity to, firstly, thank the women of our country for their courage and sacrifice throughout the years and further wish them all the best in these last few days of Women's Month. Secondly, Chair, my thoughts are with our icon, Isithwalandwe uTata uMadiba as he continues to recover in hospital, and I hope that very soon he will rejoin his family at home.

Chair, it is indeed a great pleasure to participate in today's debate. All of us will agree that disaster is an issue that remains a big challenge and concern for our country, and continues to be so even worldwide. The impact of disasters on our societies has increased immensely and is becoming a major obstacle for us to achieve sustainable socioeconomic development.

These increasing levels of disaster facing our country are as a result of exposure to a wide range of weather hazards, including droughts and severe storms that can trigger widespread hardship and devastation. We are all aware that, in the process, the lives of millions of people are affected in one way or another due to floods, droughts and fires. What follows thereafter are direct economic losses which are estimated at billions of rands.

We all know that these disasters - in as much as they are referred to as natural disasters - have much to do with human activities. In most cases, they are a result of unsustainable human development activities such as rapid urbanisation, unplanned human settlements and environmental degradation. If this is the case, much can be done to prevent the occurrence of disasters, or at least to ease their impact.

Indeed, to ease the impact of disasters, the government and the country as a whole can no longer afford to disregard disaster issues and deal with the matter on an ad hoc basis. It needs to be one of the areas we must really focus on and stop ignoring.

As the ANC, this has indeed been one of our areas of great concern long before we were even in government. The ANC committed itself towards effective and efficient disaster management in South Africa.

Here I am reminded of the ANC message by its then President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, on the occasion of the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction on 6 October 1993, where he said:

The people of our country have suffered terribly under natural disasters such as drought and flooding. The impact of these disasters could have been limited if the National Party government did not implement racist policies that lead to marginal agricultural areas being overpopulated and overgrazed.

The message further continued that urgent steps must be taken to avoid hardship and loss of life. Emergency assistance should be provided in ways that will support recovery and long-term development. It is the ANC's policy that humanitarian assistance must be provided to victims of disasters in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality. The government has the prime responsibility for providing this.

It is evident that a fresh approach to disaster management in South Africa is long overdue. We in the ANC are committed to providing the leadership, political will and resources that are needed to ensure that such a development approach to disaster management is achieved.

This was the message as far back as 1993, exactly 20 years ago: to adopt a proactive, holistic and comprehensive approach to disaster management, enabling us to mainstream disaster risk management systematically into development undertakings. If we mainstream disaster risk management into development processes, we will recognise that good disaster risk management helps to achieve development goals such as poverty eradication and environmental sustainability.

As far back as that, as the ANC, we were very clear that we needed to act and act before it was too late, and that we needed to take preventive measures to ease possible disasters, develop emergency contingency plans and make the necessary preparations for efficient and effective relief assistance whenever necessary.

We knew that it was going to be a daunting task which would require concerted efforts from all stakeholders and everybody else in development and disaster management. Our real concern was and remains that a large number of people today in disaster-prone areas are the poor, and that they have less access to disaster information. They often believe a disaster is an act of God and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it. Calling for a proactive approach in disaster management was to move away from always being reactive in these situations. One is happy that disaster response, compared with disaster reduction, has received more attention and more commitment in many parts of our country.

This proactive approach process culminated in the promulgation of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 on 15 January 2003. The Act provides for, amongst others, firstly, an integrated and co-ordinated disaster risk management policy that focuses on preventing or reducing the risk of disasters, mitigating the severity of disasters, preparedness, rapid and effective response to disasters and postdisaster recovery, and secondly, the establishment of national, provincial and municipal disaster management centres.

Also of importance in the Act is the National Disaster Management Framework which is the legal instrument specified by the Act to address the need for consistency across multiple interest groups by providing a coherent, transparent and inclusive policy on disaster management appropriate for the Republic as a whole, as stipulated in section 7.

The National Disaster Management Framework comprises of four key performance areas and three supportive enablers required to achieve the objectives as set out in the key performance areas. For example, key performance area 1 focuses on establishing the necessary institutional arrangements for implementing disaster risk management within the national, provincial and municipal spheres of government; KPA 2 addresses the need for disaster risk assessment and monitoring to set priorities, guide risk reduction action and monitor the effectiveness of our efforts; key performance area 3 introduces disaster risk management planning and implementation to inform developmental orientated approaches, plans, programmes and projects that reduce disaster risks; and key performance area 4 presents implementing priorities concerned with disaster response and recovery and rehabilitation.

As I indicated earlier on, generally people are the ones affected by the disaster, and therefore they are supposed to play a meaningful role in both the formulation of the strategies and their actual implementation. Community participation is an important aspect of this framework. For example, in key performance area 1, it spells out very clearly that the community is at the coalface of disaster risk management. It is from the conditions of risk that exist in communities that all other disaster risk management activities evolve. It is in the community where all the operational activities related to disaster risk management take place. All disaster risk reduction planning, the development of projects and programmes and the allocation of responsibilities must be founded on the needs and priorities of communities. Disaster risk reduction is a community-driven process.

Municipalities must involve local communities in the development of disaster risk profiles; facilitate an understanding of the concepts and values of disaster risk reduction in communities; prioritise projects aimed at risk reduction in their independent development plans, IDPs; and facilitate community participation in training, preparedness planning and awareness programmes.

The government has played a leading role in ensuring that as a people and as a country we respond effectively and efficiently in the overall management of disasters. However, our experience of climate change, which also threatens to become a major reversal to human and economic progress, is what we are grappling with at the moment. This climate change is a complex phenomenon. For example,it makes natural disasters worse by increasing the frequency, magnitude and intensity of typhoons and rainfall, which in turn leads to more landslides and flooding.

It is reported that heat waves and rising sea levels are other consequences of climate change that have general significant implications for sustainable human. Again, in this case, poor people are almost always the ones most affected by these misfortunes because they are the least equipped and lack the resources to resist, to cope with, and to recover from the devastating impacts.

But again, as a country, we are responding very well to this misfortune by clearly outlining the fact that the causes and impacts of climate change cannot be addressed by a single country in isolation. This is a global problem requiring global solutions achieved through the concerted and co-operative efforts of all countries. To meet its responsibility to the South African people to respond to the impacts of climate change, and to contribute to the international effort to mitigate climate change, the government, in consultation with business, labour and civil society, has drafted the national climate change ... As the Deputy Minister said, disaster management is everybody's business. I thank you, Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]


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Mr T L MAKUNYANE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, as we speak, millions of people in Pakistan, China and Indonesia are reeling from the effects of natural disasters that have worsened over the past decades due to the effects of global warming and other ecological changes that have resulted from unbridled and rapacious exploitation of natural resources.

Mr T M H MOFOKENG: Chairperson, I rise on a point of order regarding the speakers' list. According to the list it is supposed to be hon Joseph, but hon Makunyane is the one speaking now.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Hon members, seeing that hon Makunyane is already at the podium, can I call hon Joseph after him?


The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Continue, hon member.

Mr T L MAKUNYANE: Thank you, hon Chairperson.

Global warming and environmental degradation has become a serious threat to human existence, but natural phenomena by themselves do not constitute disasters. A natural phenomenon becomes a disaster when it negatively impacts human beings and disrupts their life support systems. Disasters are therefore the result of interaction of human decisions and actions of nature. Natural disasters can be avoided by appropriate prevention, preparedness and response systems.

Speaking on the occasion of the International Day for Natural Disasters Reduction on 6 October 1993, the ANC President, Comrade Nelson Mandela, set the tone for South Africa's disaster management ethos and principles when he observed that:

The people of our country have suffered terribly under natural disasters such as drought and flooding. The impact of these disasters could have been limited if the National Party government did not implement racist policies that led to marginal agricultural areas being overpopulated and overgrazed.

During the last three years South Africa has suffered a terrible drought from which we are beginning to emerge. The terrible hunger and malnutrition that millions of people suffered throughout this period could have been avoided if the National Party government followed a programme of sustainable development. Instead, apartheid policies were enforced , creating pockets of privilege in a sea of poverty and deprivation. Millions of people do not have access to the most basic services ...

It is the ANC's policy that humanitarian assistance must be provided to victims of disasters in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality.

The story of disaster management in South Africa is incomplete without a reference to the effects of the racially segregated allocation of residential spaces, facilities and services as a result of apartheid policies. Whether one is dealing with avoidable or unavoidable natural hazards, people who are mostly negatively affected are always those with little or no resources for postdisaster recovery, especially the poor.

It is the poor who are repeatedly at the receiving end of disasters. This is because often they are unable to exercise the option of buying themselves out of the marginal and vulnerable land they invariably occupy. It is sad that, when disaster strikes, the rich may lose their property which is usually insured. The poor, however, lose their lives and livelihoods.

The rich and affluent can activate recovery resources which include insurance cover and, with some exceptions, savings. The situation of the poor is exacerbated by the fact that they often have little influence on land use management and related economic decisions because of their lack of finesse and technical capacity to engage in forums which deliberate on these issues.

The recent flood disaster in Cape Town which affected 36 000 people is a case in point. Of those who were affected, the people of Macassar and Kosovo in Philippi were the worst hit. Thirty-six thousand people who live in 225 households were affected in these areas. The disaster risk management of the DA-run city places the responsibility for the security of property on the affected people themselves. Listen to the DA management when it says:

The area where people are affected is agricultural land. In this area the community erected structures within the flood line.

What is this? A local authority fails in its responsibility to engage with, educate and persuade people on its land use management policy and then resorts to shifting responsibility to the poor.

The visionary ANC could foresee the above challenge. That is why it laid a solid foundation for policies of equity and redress when it said that:

Removing the inequalities to which the majority of the people have been subjected, both by law and in practice, cannot be left either to paternalism or chance. We cannot have a nation if half the people live in darkness, half in light.

There are serious challenges on disaster management across the board. What is required is that we should be amongst the people who prepare adequately for disasters.

Disaster preparedness should entail planned and sustained education and training campaigns where people are made to understand the negative impact of exposure to disaster-prone areas. This should be coupled with principled implementation of the land use management plans to enable planned resettlement where this is inevitable.

In developing land use plans, authorities should consult the people whilst invoking the wisdom of the ANC policy guideline on the allocation of land and for housing purposes. In this regard the ANC expresses its rejection of:

... the privatisation of land supply for low-income housing and believes that it is the state's responsibility to ensure that low-income households have easy access to well located affordable land. The state or state organs will play an active role in land acquisition and in curbing land speculation.

Some of the measures we will consider using to curb land speculation are the application of high municipal rates on well located undeveloped land, a capital gain tax on land transactions and the use of legal arrangements and tenure forms which take land (and housing) transactions out of the market and guard against downward raiding by more affluent groups.

The allocation of land in urban and rural areas should not discriminate against people on the basis of race or gender, foster nepotism or other forms of corruption and should not involve lengthy time delays.

The above is a quotation from Ready to Govern.

A key part of educating people should focus on getting communities, especially the poor, to reduce and eventually eliminate all practices which aggravate their conditions by promoting chances for more disasters. In dealing with this matter, serious attention must be paid to socioeconomic causes of the negative practices which make communities more prone and vulnerable to disasters.

Viable and innovative disaster management systems must address themselves to the recurrent challenge of slow response time to disasters. These are instances where families have been repeatedly struck by disaster and, after lengthy periods, you find out that not much has happened to relieve them and assist in their recovery. In many other instances, responsible officials declare an area a disaster area and then fail to provide the requisite support as envisaged by disaster management legislation.

Furthermore, a viable and innovative disaster management system has to be people-centred, people-driven and gender-sensitive. Postdisaster rehabilitation needs to be swift and efficient. Through ongoing scenario planning, people who inhabit disaster-prone spaces have to be mobilised and prepared for the eventuality of recovery if this is to be done swiftly.

The critical thing is that those who plan for effective management systems have to be amongst the people. They have to understand the hazards of living on the edge, without flushing toilets or electrical power. Consultants who conceptualise these systems in their fancy air conditioned offices which are far from the people are doomed to fail at the critical time of need. These officials will soon realise the discord between their esoteric ideas and the real people whose lives and meagre belongings they seek to protect.

Going forward, South Africa should continue to explore innovations including learning from our regional counterparts, particularly to deal with key challenges of changing climate patterns and the disasters brought about by these conditions. Addressing the Conference of Parties, Cop 17, Minister Edna Molewa alluded to this critical strategy when she remarked that:

For the immediate future, sectors that need particular attention are water, agriculture and forestry, health, biodiversity and human settlements. Resilience to climate variability and climate change-related extreme weather events will be the basis for South Africa's future approach to disaster management and we will use region-wide approaches where appropriate.

A viable and innovative disaster management system must integrate disaster preparedness, prevention, response and recovery. These must be tailored for specific conditions of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in all areas. I thank you. [Applause.]


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Mr D JOSEPH: Hon Deputy Chairperson, Deputy Minister and hon colleagues, first of all I want to congratulate the Deputy Minister on his new position.

Disaster knows no boundaries; it knows no governments, no political parties and no colour of skin. Disaster simply means the sudden disruption of life, people, and communities in a district by nature or a human-caused occurrence. Disaster sometimes causes death, serious injuries, and damage to property, infrastructure and the environment, which may affect the economy.

When disaster strikes, human beings show their humanity towards each other through rescue operations. The Disaster Management Act laid the foundation for a new integrated and co-ordinated disaster management policy which focuses on preventing or reducing the risk of disasters, and preparedness for emergencies, effective response and post-disaster recovery.

Our experience of disasters in South Africa relates to earthquakes, droughts, various diseases affecting human beings and animals, extreme weather conditions like floods, disasters at sea, oil leakage, fires, accidents, lightning, and mining and construction-related incidents.

Our Parliament has passed the national disaster management framework. This framework brought into life an intergovernmental management committee, an advisory forum and a national centre to respond to any disaster, anywhere in our country, at any point in time. This Parliament should, indeed, be proud that our country, in response to our domestic needs, is able to respond to any international needs when required to do so. This Act further ensures that proper structures and systems are in place, with the necessary competent staff, trained with the necessary equipment and communication systems between the spheres of government.

It is very important that the component of the disaster management plan, which highlights the framework, focuses on volunteers who are always first on the scene when disaster strikes, followed by nongovernmental organisations, technical experts and the private sector. We must thank all South Africans, who, over time, have left their comfort zones to face possible death themselves, trying to save someone or animals. The DA commends all South Africans who volunteer to work in disaster teams.

In order to ensure an innovative disaster response plan with effective management, each province must prepare a profile which must include the municipal and district disaster management plans, covering population and geographical areas, and possible disasters - based on research - that the communities may face. Collaboration between provincial emergency centres and municipalities is critical. Co-operation between police, the law enforcement agencies, and traffic and fire departments is very important. Some provinces, I have noticed, even have disaster management plans available on their websites. This is good news.

However, it is also common knowledge that many South Africans do not prepare for the unforeseen and, when disaster strikes, it leaves them in a predicament with movable or immovable property, and sometimes their lives are at stake.

We have built on floodlines. Whether it be 50 or 100 years in the future, disaster will strike. In Cape Town, particular communities have been asked, several times, year after year, to move to alternative sites but we are faced with same problem every year. Therefore, infrastructure development is very important because South Africans have expectations. When disaster strikes, they look to government for help. Therefore, it is important that the funding model is also important to municipalities, to allow them to prepare for any disaster. Training is important. Research is important. It is also important to look at climate change. All of this should be included in our plans because 99% of disasters in South Africa are due to weather patterns, 39% of that is related to flooding, and 22% to thunderstorms.

An amount of R240 million has been invested, in particular, for O R Tambo Airport and Cape Town International Airport, where they can see disasters coming far in advance. This will allow scientists to accurately track weather systems and issue warnings.

In closing, it is important that intergovernmental forums, where the communities play an important part, are part of this environmental plan so that we, as members who are here today discussing and debating, know that legislation is there because we discharged our role and mandate from our constituencies. It is our role and mandate to ensure that systems and structures are in place to help our fellow citizens, to save lives and property, and to limit damage to the environment and to assist our communities to return to their normal lives as soon as possible after the disaster has struck. I thank you, hon Deputy Chairperson. [Applause.]


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Mr O DE BEER: Chairperson, let me also take this opportunity to wish the Deputy Minister well in his new position. I worked with him as a colleague for almost four years when I was working with the Magistrates' Commission.

Years into our democratic independence, the national government and the Western Cape government still continue to treat African townships with total disregard. Cope has observed that, in the last years of democracy, in each rainy season, we have seen increased evidence of negligence. It is not strange to find yourself in an informal area, a refugee, in the blink of an eye in this province of the Western Cape.

Disaster is defined as a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society. Disasters involve widespread human, material, economic or environmental impacts, which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope with using its own resources. Cope would like to see a much more aggressive and holistic approach in preventing and preparing for disasters. South Africa has been a disaster management case right from its birth. The people of South Africa have been affected physically and emotionally for years in their social, family, political and environmental lives.

Cope believes it will be short-sighted of any administration to look into the problem in silos. Beyond spatial development plans to rehabilitate social living areas from disaster belts and water-logged areas, more attention should be given to these problems in order to deal with our communities' daily living conditions.

For how long have we seen pictures, year in and year out, of the hazards of rain disasters, and only in the poorest areas like Khayelitsha and Philippi, where infrastructure is poor and has not been maintained for years in the Western Cape?

Year after year, we see disasters such as rain water in winter or fires in summer. Not so long ago, Cape Town was drawn into the poo protests that saw the disaster management institutions, including the police, frozen with fear. That is a disaster management crisis right there.

In order to meet emergencies caused by major incidents, planning response strategies are termed disaster management plans, DMPs. DMPs cannot be considered in isolation or act as a substitute for maintaining good safety standards. The best way to prevent major incidents from occurring is by maintaining our infrastructure well.

The successful management of internally displaced persons, IDPs, or the so-called xenophobia disasters, as declared in the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces in 2008, brought about a new dimension in co-operative governance about how to deal with humanitarian crises.

In conclusion, the issue of infrastructure funding should be reviewed, especially in these crisis provinces. Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. [Time expired.]


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Mr F ADAMS: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister Nel, hon members, let me also join the chairperson in congratulating Deputy Minister Nel on the repositioning of his post in the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, family. We are not going to wish him well because we know that he will do well, as he has done well in everything he has done so far.

Today's debate takes place only four months before the ninth anniversary of the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 230 000 people in 14 countries. It also takes place a few days before the 14th anniversary of what is commonly known as the Manenberg tornado, which left over 200 families homeless and five people dead when a massive tornado hit Manenberg, Gugulethu and Surrey Estate on 28 August in 1999. It takes place a few days before the anniversary of the death of 1 404 people during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in the United States on 29 August 2005.

It is therefore befitting that we dedicate this debate to remembering the hundreds of people that have lost their lives to natural disasters around the world, and those whose lives have been rendered unbearable and who have to face the hardships of living under atrocious weather conditions on a daily basis.

For many of us the various disasters such as the tsunami, Manenberg tornado and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in the United States of America remain embedded in our minds because of their catastrophic effects, but for many of the affected families and communities, these events remain a turning point in their lives.

The social and economic consequences of the recent natural disasters across the world have reiterated the need to pay more attention to natural disasters and the reduction of vulnerabilities to disaster risks. The United Nations has recently revealed that natural disasters pose a significant threat to the prospects of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in particular the overarching target of halving extreme poverty by 2015. In 2010 alone, there were 373 natural events such as earthquakes, floods, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, and droughts which affected some 208 million people, causing 300 000 deaths and producing economic losses estimated at US$110 billion.

The United Nations Development Programme report, which is called ``Reducing Disaster Risk: A Challenge for Development 2004'', shows that billions of people in more than 100 countries are periodically exposed to at least one event like earthquakes, tropical cyclones, floods or droughts. It is also illustrated that annual economic losses associated with such disasters across the globe have risen to an average of US$ 659,9 billion.

The tragic reality of disasters is that the poor, especially those living in precarious conditions such as informal settlements, low-lying areas, and low-paying jobs, or those who are unemployed and are without any social security are the most affected. Today, approximately 85% of the people exposed to earthquakes, tropical cyclones, floods and droughts live in countries that have either medium or low human development.

Like many nations around the world, South Africa faces similar increasing levels of disaster risk. It is for this reason that the ANC government passed the Disaster Management Act, Act 57 of 2002 on 15 January 2003 to ensure that South Africa has an integrated and co-ordinated disaster risk management policy that focuses on prevention and on ensuring an effective response to disasters and postdisaster recovery.

Since 1994, the ANC has moved with utmost speed and decisiveness to redress our apartheid settlement patterns and many of the conditions that have exposed our people to disasters through the provision of houses, water, electricity, streets and other essential amenities.

Despite all of these changes, many households and communities in South Africa are still exposed to catastrophic disasters. It is estimated that many parts of the country are experiencing some of the greatest rainfall in 20 years. Last year alone, the costs of damage to the infrastructure in seven of the country's nine provinces affected by heavy rainfall and floods were estimated at R160 billion or £14 billion. [Interjections.] It seems to me that the honourable veteran needs to meet the other veteran, Chairperson.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): That's fine. [Laughter.]

Mr F ADAMS: Many of our communities are exposed to a wide range of weather hazards, including droughts, cyclones and severe storms, that continue to cause widespread hardship and devastation to communities across the country. In 2011, flooding in South Africa resulted in the death of more than 100 people, forced at least 8 400 people from their homes and prompted the government to declare 33 disaster areas. The majority of the deaths were recorded in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal. Last year in October, eight people died when heavy rains and storms hit the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces.

In the Western Cape, heavy rains, snow and bitter cold winds continue to make the lives of many households unbearable. In addition to these natural disasters, many communities face exposure to human-induced disasters due to their settlement patterns and conditions.

In many parts of the country, large numbers of people live in conditions of chronic disaster vulnerability where they face recurrent natural and other threats that range from drought to repeated and uncontrollable informal settlement fires. It is estimated that over 5 000 people are displaced each year due to wild fires in South Africa, especially the poor and those living in informal settlements and rural areas.

During a fire safety symposium that was held in Goodwood on 28 February 2013, the City of Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management Centre revealed that it responded to over 15 000 incidents of fire in the informal settlements between 1999 and last year. It also revealed that 860 people died due to fires between 2005 and this year.

It is this multitude of our people who today look upon us to speak out on their plight and the hardships they experience. It is this multitude of our people who expect us today to make a clarion call to all structures of government to move with utmost speed to ensure that the sustained and concerted efforts of our government to reform the racially imbalanced apartheid disaster management systems also reach their communities.

We cannot address the exposure of our people to disasters in the same mode and mentality as the apartheid regime. We need to move with greater speed to deliver proper houses, roads and other essential amenities for our people to ensure that they are not made to live in some of the most atrocious conditions as a result of flooding and cold, as we have seen in the Western Cape. In fact, the people of the Western Cape, especially the black communities in the Cape Flats, are not exposed to disasters and related risks, but their lives have been systematically made a disaster by the DA or, as they say, the Dagga Alliance party, that leads in the Western Cape.

We heard the hon Joseph say that disaster areas know no colour or boundaries ... [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): Just hold on. I have recognised you, hon Van Lingen.

Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, can I ask the member a question? I just want to know what he has been smoking.


Mr F ADAMS: Chairperson, I don't smoke, so the member is out of order.

The provision of mobile fire extinguishers by the City of Cape Town was a total failure and a waste of public funds. We watched with great astonishment, three days after the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille, handed out these fire extinguishers, as hundreds of shacks burnt down in Joe Slovo. These fire extinguishers did not work, so our people's houses and their livelihoods could not be saved.

As the ANC, we have firstly noted that the different spheres of government do not fully adhere to current legislative policy and institutional and funding mechanisms; and secondly, relief measures often take time to reach the victims or places affected by disasters because of the lengthy bureaucratic processes for disbursing disaster funds. Thirdly, we have noted, through experience, that funding for disasters does not always adequately address the effects of a particular hazardous event or the cost incurred by provinces or municipalities. The other challenge is that most municipalities do not understand the necessity of budgeting for disaster risk reduction. I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms T C Memela): I now call on hon member Nel.


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The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Chairperson, thank you very much for adopting me as one of your members. [Laughter.]

I just want to start off by thanking all the members who participated in this debate and again thank the NCOP for hosting this important debate that draws attention to a very important aspect of governance. It is an important aspect of governance which I think was appropriately debated in the Council because one of the key tasks of the Council is to make a contribution to intergovernmental relations. The need for sound and effective intergovernmental relations is nowhere as clear as it is in the area of disaster management. So, we thank you for that.

The Council has done itself proud by hosting this debate, coming together and sending out a clear message across party lines that disaster management is everyone's business and we all have a duty to join hands and make sure that we have an effective and efficient disaster management system at all levels of government.

Secondly, the message is that the system must be a people-centred disaster management system because the victims of disasters are first and foremost the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable in our societies. It also highlighted the fact that we need a comprehensive and an integrated approach to disaster management, because the link between the causes and the effects of disaster and underdevelopment in our society is very clear.

The fact that disaster management is also a key element within our National Development Plan and a key objective of a developmental state emerged very clearly during this debate.

Lastly, what stands out, for me, in this debate, is the message that we need to convey to all spheres of government and our constituency: Prevention is better than cure. We need to plan and plan and plan for the prevention of disasters but always be ready to respond when they do occur.

We thank the Council for hosting this debate. We pledge our support and we look forward to working with you, including when we come to this House with our Disaster Management Amendment Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

The Council adjourned at 15:52.


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