Social Development supports 1 466 families affected by natural disasters | Western Cape Government


Social Development supports 1 466 families affected by natural disasters

21 July 2022

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) is one of several government institutions responsible for addressing the humanitarian relief needs of vulnerable groups in response to natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, and fires.

There are times when natural disasters cause human suffering as a by-product of the harm to life, personal property, and infrastructure. Moreover, individuals and families are often displaced due to people losing their shelter, which can be complicated further by shortages of food and drinking water.

During the period between 2019 to 2022, the provincial DSD provided support to 1 466 families impacted by some form of a natural disaster.

Although the legislative mandate of providing social relief of distress resides with SASSA, the provincial DSD continues to work tirelessly to ensure that Disaster Management Plans such as Winter Readiness Programmes are operational in each region across the province. However, we require the support of other government agencies to help ensure that there are appropriate responses to mitigate the impact of disaster situations on vulnerable communities.

The Department’s role is to provide psychosocial support to victims, as well as to conduct assessments and referrals to SASSA, who administers the Social Relief of Distress benefits. The Social Relief of Distress benefit is to support qualifying families’ basic needs for up to three months, during a crisis of a temporary nature. To qualify, applicants, or their household must not be recipients of any other grants or assistance such as food vouchers or food parcels.

When there are disasters, such as floods, DSD officials generally are on site to assist.            

Our efforts as government are most effective when we work in partnership with other government agencies, NGOs and communities. As a Department committed to working FOR YOU, we will continue to put our citizens, particularly the most vulnerable, at the centre of everything we do.

The public can access our services by visiting any local DSD office or contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250 for information to access help.

For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department's Website below: 

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949