Some Western Cape disaster management centres staffed by single official

2016-04-13 19:50
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Cape Town – Some disaster management centres in the Western Cape have just a single staff member, an official told the provincial standing committee on local government on Wednesday.

"If we have a district with one person, it is a problem," admitted disaster management and fire and rescue chief director Colin Deiner.

He said the province helped municipalities a lot by providing things such as risk assessment and disaster plans.

"But it is a fact that if you only have one person, it is difficult."

The committee was given a presentation on the readiness of municipalities for disasters ahead of winter.

According to the presentation, the City of Cape Town disaster management centre had 80 staff members. The Eden district had eight, the Cape Winelands four, Overberg two, and West Coast and Central Karoo one each.

Both ANC MPL Richard Dyantyi and DA MPL Nceba Hinana raised concerns about the centres with low staff numbers.

"How would one employee help? You would never do anything if you are one, especially if you are confronted with a disaster," said Hinana.

Deiner said these centres worked with other parties, like the defence force.

"The person in the Karoo has an extremely good system in place. We dealt with the Laingsburg floods well because we were all able to work together," he said.

Dyantyi said he wanted to know more about capabilities of the 96 staff members and where there were gaps.

Committee chairperson Malizole Mqasela said another session was needed to better understand what would make Deiner "sleep at night" regarding the capacity of each centre.

Read more on:    cape town  |  weather

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