Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell.
Coastal Provinces meet on tackling disasters
The Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management hosted a two day conference with stakeholders in disaster management with the goal of strengthening partnerships across the coastal regions of South Africa. It’s the first time a conference with the focus on the country’s four coastal provinces was held.
Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, said the four Coastal Disaster Management Centres decided to work closely together in an effort to share experiences and expertise with each other, and also to pledge support and relevant resources to assist each other in disaster related matters.
“Growing constraints in terms of budget and capacity means we all rely on partnerships to tackle various disasters. The focus of this conference is to see how the coastal provinces can work better together, along with our other important partners including the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute); Life Saving SA and Disaster Management entities across the four provinces. There are existing relationships between these entities but these relationships MUST be strengthened into the future to meet the growing challenges we’re all experiencing.”
New boats for NSRI handed over
Bredell officially handed over three new 4.2m rescue boats to the NSRI along with a cheque for R422 000. Lifesaving SA also received a R422 000 cheque from the province.
“This is our way of supporting valuable stakeholders that look at water safety in our province. Lifesaving SA and the NSRI are non-profit organizations that depend and operate purely on donations and sponsorships. They are critical partners for the Western Cape Government.”
Bredell called on members of the public to take care over the festive season and to contact disaster management entities immediately in times of distress.
“In the Western Cape, people can call emergency services on 112 or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone if they require assistance. We also honour disaster management officials for the passion and never-ending sacrifices they and their families make for the well-being of others. This is especially true over the festive season. Please be safe and be careful.”