International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
Speech by Minister Anton Bredell
Esteemed colleagues, officials, and members of the press, it is an honor for me to introduce our National Minister of Cooperative Governance, Dr Dlamini-Zuma to you today as we recognise the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.
South Africa is one of 187 countries that in 2015 signed the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The aim of this global framework is to significantly reduce the risks, loss of life, and loss of livelihoods because of disasters, towards 2030.
The Sendai Framework aligns with the Global Sustainability Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
I want to recognise and applaud our national government for including South Africa in this Framework. Thank you, Minister Dlamini-Zuma.
Minister Dlamini-Zuma, you are very familiar with the hot seat of Disaster Management in South Africa. We do not have to go back very far in recent history:
- The drought and Day Zero crisis in Cape Town in 2018.
- COVID-19 from 2019 to 2021.
- Loadshedding stage 6 in 2022.
- The tragic floods in KZN in 2022.
- The tailings dam collapse and flood in Jagersfontein, Free State, also in 2022.
Minister, in all these disasters you were the link between local disaster management efforts and our National Government. Thank you for carrying this very heavy load on our behalf.
Minister, today you also represent our country to the international disaster management community, as set out in the Sendai Agreement. There is comfort in the fact that disaster risk reduction receives international attention, and that we can benefit from global advances made in this field.
This year the focus is on the theme of multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information. I am sure that South Africa can learn much from other countries. I am also sure we have a lot to offer to our partners in terms of disaster risk reduction.
We have only this one planet to life on, so it makes sense to work together on making it a safer place for all people.
Minister, the same is also true for us here in South Africa. We have only this one country where we must try to make it safe for our people. In the same sense that the Sendai Framework gives us a platform to collaborate across different continents, we should cooperate and work together between provinces and regions in our own country.
As leaders in government, we should also build strong relationships with our private sector partners. We launched our Wildfire Preparedness Strategy for this coming summer earlier this week. Without the support of private and volunteer firefighting organisations we would be much weaker and not able to respond as fast as we can.
Dr Dlamini-Zuma, our National Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, thank you for your support and your presence here today. We will now listen with great interest to your message.
Spokesperson for Minister Anton Bredell
Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
079 694 3085