Speeches

Speech by Minister Bredell on Provincial Disaster Management

17 October 2013

Geagte Speaker

Agbare lede

Lede van die media en gaste

Ek dink ons kan vandag ons trots en dankbaarheid teenoor die uistekende werk wat op ‘n deurlopende basis deur die Provinsiale Rampbestuursentrum gedoen word, met die Huis deel.

Ons is werklik in ‘n bevoorregde posisie om so ‘n Rampbestuurspan te hê wat sulke hoë standaarde stel en voortgaan om hul pogings in die bestuur van rampe te verbeter.

Die staat van gereedheid in die Wes-Kaap met betrekking tot rampbestuur is 24/7 en hulle word beskou as die beste span in Suid-Afrika.  Terugvoering en lof vir hul professionele en bevoegde aksie is uiters positief ontvang in gevalle waar hulle na die buiteland gesekondeer was om hulp te verleen.

Die span wat, onder leiding van Colin Deiner, na Fukashima, Japan afgevaar is na die tsunami, is deur die Staatshoof uitgesonder as een van die beste spanne wat hulp verleen het.

Op eie bodem, as gevolg van die demografiese ligging, word die Wes-Kaap beskou as die mees vatbare provinsie vir rampe in die land. 

Die risikos kan in twee breë kategorieë verdeel word:

  • Katastrofiese rampe: Hierdie is rampe wat ‘n groot impak op die provinsie kan hê, gepaardgaande met onaanvaarbare hoë verlies aan lewens sowel as infrastruktuur.  Dit sluit onder meer in aardbewings, droogte en pandemiese risikos soos die grootskaalse uitbreek van siektes soos voëlgriep ens. in.
  • Gereelde herhalende insidente: Hierdie sluit in brande wat plaasvind gedurende die somer, brande in informele nedersettings en vloede tydens die winter.

Benewens bogenoemde natuurlike rampe, word die Provinsiale Rampbestuurspan ook verplig/versoek om sosiale konfliksituasies soos xenofobiese aanvalle en protesaksies te hanteer.

Gestig in ooreenstemming met die Rampbestuurswet en Nasionale Rampbestuursraamwerk, is die sentrum gestig om beide die gereedheids- sowel as die reaksiefases van rampbestuur te bestuur.

Die Hoofdirektoraat Rampbestuur bestaan uit drie eenhede:

  • Direktoraat Risikovermindering:  Hierdie direktoraat is verantwoordelik om alle potensiële risikos in die provinsie te evalueer, ‘n risiko register op te stel en die implementering van planne en strategieë om die moontlikheid van hierdie rampe te verminder.
  • Operasionele Direktoraat:  Hierdie direktoraat is verantwoordelik om te verseker dat provinsiale strukture en ander rolspelers gereed is om effektief te reageer op enige rampe,  grootskaalse noodgevalle of potensiële rampe en die daarstel van genoegsame herstel- en rehabilitasie van geaffekteerde gemeenskappe en omgewings.

Hulle is ook verantwoordelik vir die bestuur en werking van die provinsiale rampbestuursentrum en infrastuktuur.

Gereedheid kan ongelukkig nie slegs deur die Wes-Kaapse Rampbestuursentrum bereik word nie, en dus is ‘n uitgebreide forum van belanghebbendes gestig (Die Provinsiale Rampbestuursadviesforum).

Hierdie forum bestaan uit onder andere alle provinsiale departemente, die SANW, SAPD, SA Weerdiens, Departement van Waterwese, verskeie nie-regeringsorganisasies, Stad Kaapstad Rampbestuur en alle distriksrampebestuursentrums.

Die funksie van hierdie forum is om inligting oor alle aspekte van rampbestuur te deel en ook om hulp te verleen aan die Wes-Kaapse Rampbestuursentrum in die geval van ‘n ramp of bedreiging daarvan.

  • Subdirektoraat brandweerdienste: is verantwoordelik vir die monitering van brandweerdienste, koördinering van brandbestrydingsaktiwiteite en die administrasie van die brandweerdienstewet. Om dit te bereik word uitvoering gegee aan die volgende aktiwiteite:
  • Koördinering van Provinsiale Veldbrand lugondersteuningsprogramme
  • Brandbewustheid en openbare inligtingsprogramme
  • Informele nedersettings brandveiligheid
  • Koördinering van aksies op spesiale operasies

Binne die Wes-Kaap se ramprisiko profiel, is ‘n totaal van 32 risikos geïdentifiseer waarvoor mitigerende en reaksieplanne ontwikkel is.

Rampbestuursaktiwiteite

Wes-Kaap Rampbestuur is betrokke in ‘n wye reeks aktiwiteite wat wissel van die voorbereiding van munisipalitiete om die risikos in hul areas te verminder en om te reageer op komplekse noodegevalle. Voorbeelde van onlangse aktiwiteite is soos volg:

  1. Direktoraat: Ramprisikovermindering

Wes-Kaap Rampbestuur is in die proses om distriksmunisipaliteite by te staan in die opdatering van hul risiko assesserings. 

Gedurende die 2012/13 finansiële jaar het Wes-Kaap rampbestuur Sentraal-Karoo-, Weskus- en Eden Distriksmunisipaliteite bygestaan in die opgradering van hul risiko assesserings.

Wes-Kaap Rampbestuur is tans besig om Overberg Distriksmunisipaliteit, Kaapse Wynland distriksmunisipaliteit, Stad Kaapstad en Bitou by te staan in die opgradering van hul risiko assesserings.

Wes-Kaap rampbestuur idenitfiseer risikoverminderingsprojekte wat via die Geïntegreede Ontwikkelingsplan (GOP) geïmplimenteer word.

Ontwikkeling en Onderhoud van ‘n “Spatial Data Repository (GIS)” by die Provinsiale Rampbestuursentrum

Die Wes-Kaapse rampbestuursentrum het ‘n ten volle funksionele en goed toegruste GIS wat besluitnemers voorsien van akkurate en geloofwaardige inligting. Sommige van die projekte wat tans onderneem en afgehandel is sluit die volgende in:

  •   Konsolidering van alle vloedrisikoverwante data in die Eden distrik.

                  Hierdie data word gebruik vir verbeterde besluitneming gedurende en voor ‘n vloed gebeurtenis.

  •  Kartering van alle risikoverminderingsprojekte in die Wes-Kaap. Hierdie data sal besluitnemers in ‘n posisie  te stel om ‘n ruimtelike sig te hê waar risikiovermindering besig is om plaas te vind en of dit inlyn is met die heersende risikoprofiel van die area.

Risk Reduction Interventions

Montague:  WCDM has assisted Cape Winelands DM and Langeberg LM in co-ordinating the process for the clearing of sediment at the confluence of the Kinga and Keisie rivers in Montague to prevent a flood disaster.

Overstrand water shortage: WCDM has assisted the Overstrand LM in developing a risk reduction strategy for the possible water shortage in the region.

Verlorenvlei: WCDM has assisted the West Coast DM in facilitating stakeholder interaction regarding the replacement of the Verlorenvlei Bridge. WCDM has ensured that all stakeholders’ views are taken into account when a final decision is made on the design and construction of the replacement bridge.

Early warning systems

This unit ensures the maintenance of an early warning database that includes all the critical role-players within disaster management. 

Public Awareness Programmes:

  • The Annual Hazard Awareness Campaign raises awareness primarily on fire and flood safety throughout the Province. In 2012, 25 progammes reached 11 700 children throughout the districts.

  Rampbestuur hoofstuk in die GOP:

Die Wes-Kaapse rampbestuur het ‘n formaat vir munisipaliteite ontwikkel wat gebruik en ingevoeg kan word tot hul GOPs as ‘n rampbestuurshoofstuk.

 Hierdie formaat is reeds suksesvol geïmplementeer by rampbestuurs strukture op distriksvlak.  Tot op datum is 24 munispaliteite hierby betrek en hul GOP hoofstuk gefinaliseer.

  1. Operasionele Direktoraat

Die Wes-Kaap rambestuursentrum was deur die 2012/13 finansiële jaar by ses geleenthede geaktiveer waar dit met sneeuval in die Sentraal Karoo distrik, plaaswerkeronrus, die Hexrivier busongeluk, skeepsongelukke en ander grootskaalse veld en bosbrande moes hanteer.

Rampherstelondersteuning

Wes-Kaap rampbestuur, deur sy subdirektoraat: Rampherstel, was instrumenteel in hul bydrae tot na-ramp herstel by wyse van noodverligtingsrekonstruksie en rehabilitasie inisiatiewe en projekte.

Die prosesse sluit in rampskade assesserings, rampbevestiging van geaffekteerde infrastuktuur, rampverklarings en klassifikasies, versoeke vir addisionele herstelfondse, koördinering van die toekenning van fondse, die monitering en ondersteuning van rampinsidente en spanderingspatrone tot die finalisering van verklaarde gebiede en toegekende projekte af te handel.

During 2011/12 a total amount of R 418 075 529 was made available to the Western Cape for disaster relief and reconstruction projects.  These included R 224 955 830 in the Eden District and R 193 119 699 for additional funding in favour of two provincial departments, Agriculture and Public Works, Roads and Transport for reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure. 

Once the allocation letters are received, WCDM will closely liaise with the beneficiary organs of state to oversee the projects implementation and spending of funds through monthly and quarterly progress reports, as well as site visits for auditing purposes.

  1. Sub-Directorate: Fire Brigade Services

Provincial Wild Fire Programme

The Western Cape Government identified the need for a rapid response to wild land fires in their early stages and established its rapid response programme during the 2011/12 wildfire season.

This programme is designed around the principle of responding the maximum amount of aircraft and ground teams to a fire in its early stages. By gaining control within the first hour of the fire the possibility of a major incident is minimised.

To this end the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre provided 24 aircraft consisting of eight Cessna spotter aircraft, eight Bell UH-1 helicopters and eight fixed wing Dromader water bombers.

A scientific GIS based method of determining the optimal placement of these resources is used which takes into account the veld type and age and risk profile of the area.

The available resources are then placed in areas where they will be able to respond in the shortest possible time to the maximum effect.

During the 2011/12 season we authorised a total of 78 aerial responses of which 65 were controlled in the first hour.

For the 2012/13 season it was decided to increase the number of runways from six to 28, which significantly improved the response times for the bombers. A very busy season saw the province approve 110 aerial responses with a 95% first hour success rate.

The province experienced its highest intensity of fires at the end of January when four major fires flared up simultaneously in various parts of the province.

A large scale aerial support capacity was activated and this led to 26 aircraft operating at the same time.

For the coming fire season WCDM will increase its fleet with the addition of two new “Airtractor 802” fixed wing bombers which have a larger capacity and longer range than the current aircraft.

Special Operations Response Team

During the last three years WCDM together with the province have established a special operations response team that consists of highly trained rescue specialists who are capable of responding to major disasters involving collapsed buildings.

There are currently 80 of these people working at various municipal fire services and rescue bases in the province and can be called upon at any time to respond to emergencies not only within the Western Cape but also in South Africa and internationally.

Provincial Training Facility

To address the need for fire, rescue and disaster management training WCDM is in the process of developing a plan to establish a provincial public safety training centre at Wolwekloof in the Cape Winelands.  It is envisaged that this facility will be rolled out over a period of three to five years and upon completion will be the only one of its kind in Africa.

Informal Settlement Fire Prevention Strategy

The best way to manage a fire disaster is to prevent it from happening in the first place.  Prevention is much more cost-effective and will clearly reach greater numbers of people.

Fire-related deaths have been drastically reduced over recent decades in many countries through the implementation of a range of evidence-based interventions using a Community Risk Reduction (CRR) approach which includes education, engineering changes, enforcement of legislative protection and environmental modifications.

Fire departments are supported to implement and review their CRR plan and implement evidence based interventions such as:

  • Emergency Response: Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
  • Engineering: Smoke Alarms, Safer Candle, Safe Stoves
  • Education: Get Out Alive, Stay Alive Till We Arrive, Learn Not To Burn
  • Economic Incentives: Community Work Programme
  • Enforcement: Home Visitation Programme

The following briefly describes some of these programmes:

Learn Not To Burn Preschool curriculum: Fire related burns have a higher prevalence in the very young. The three- to five-year old group, particularly in rural communities and informal settlements, have been identified as a priority.

Fire and Life Safety Educator (FLSE): The Public Fire and Life Safety Educator programme provides fire fighters and other educators with the skills and knowledge for developing, managing, and supervising programmes of instruction intended to educate and inform the public regarding fire and life safety issues.

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT): Providing community members with the skills and knowledge to respond to fires in the incipient stages whilst the fire and emergency services respond often reduce the level of destruction and injury significantly.

Community Work Programme: Integration of selected interventions into the community work programme provides a platform for fire prevention interventions to be implemented in high risk communities.

Media Enquiries: 
Peter Pullen
Spokesperson for Minister Bredell
Tel: 021 483 2820
Cell: 082 574 3773