Western Cape Disaster Management hosts third Advisory Forum Webinar | Western Cape Government

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Western Cape Disaster Management hosts third Advisory Forum Webinar

27 May 2021

The Department of Local Government held its third Disaster Management Advisory Forum Webinar at the Disaster Management Centre on 26 May 2021, to discuss the prevention of a possible third wave of infections in Africa.

Highlighting the importance of COVID- 19-related lessons learned from the African perspective, the webinar under the theme: “A United Fight Against the COVID-19 Pandemic: Preventing Another Wave in Africa”, unpacked various key lessons learnt from the first wave of infections.

Director of Disaster Operations, Ms Jacqueline Pandaram was pleased with the opportunity to host yet another Advisory Forum unpacking critical lessons learnt from other countries on managing the pandemic. As the third webinar following two international webinars held in 2020, the collaborations with other countries was insightful and assisted in identifying similarities and what methods worked best across different countries.

Pandaram indicated that South Africa recognised the local impact of global disasters and it therefore should redefine the resilience of our communities, globally. “Even though this pandemic is a tragedy to our global economy and society, it has amplified our interdependence beyond our borders,” she added.

The Head of Department, Graham Paulse also attended the webinar via zoom link, and shared how the Disaster Management Centre acted very quickly in response to the pandemic and sprung immediately in support of the Health sector. He added that in the past year “we have worked around the clock with partners in the Health, Business, Transport, Social, Education and Communications sectors to mitigate, reduce and contain the impact of the coronavirus in the short, medium and long term.”

He further indicated that the roll-out of the vaccine was one of the main strategies introduced to combat the virus and efforts made to ensure immunity was reached so that we may return to normal life. He added that the Western Cape Government had launched the second phase of the vaccination programme that marked a turning point in the fight against Covid-19.

“We have large parts of the population which are depended on government services, including financial support and in some instances even food support. Whilst dealing with Covid-19, we were mindful of other factors such as poverty and unemployment, compounded with weak economic growth, which impacted citizens. The economic fallout continues, and the social-economic disaster is in-all- likelihood to have severe consequences moving forward” he said.