Zweli Mkhize urges disaster management centres to remain vigilant

2018-12-31 19:14
Flooding in Pretoria. (Twitter)

Flooding in Pretoria. (Twitter)

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Zweli Mkhize has called on all government departments, NGOs and the private sector, to lend a hand in managing disaster risks better.

This comes after the country experienced sporadic summer torrential rains in various provinces during the course of the year, resulting in flooding which caused injuries and infrastructure damage.

Some disasters led to fatalities.

READ: 4 people killed by lightning in Eastern Cape and Limpopo

"Drought conditions in other parts of the country have also created favourable conditions for devastating fires, while other provinces have experienced destructive windstorms," said the minister.

Mkhize said at least nine people had died in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape. Four perished in the Tzaneen and Sekhukhune areas of Limpopo due to fire and drowning, while at least five people died due to lightning strikes in Amathole and OR Tambo District Municipalities.

"Our hearts go out to the families who cannot rejoice and celebrate the festive season due to the loss of their loved ones. May their souls rest in peace," he said.

Mkhize also acknowledged the "dedication and tireless efforts demonstrated by the provincial and municipal disaster management teams, complemented by non–governmental organisations in responding to the needs of communities during these incidents". 

READ MORE: Sassa to take charge of disaster relief

"We also salute our search and rescue teams, emergency services, medical personnel, SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the law enforcement agencies and all other team members that continue to put people first as they perform their difficult tasks," Mkhize added.

Mkhize said that the Cogta's National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) would continue to monitor the situation countrywide.

Meanwhile, disaster management in the Western Cape is assessing the damage after a fire swept through the town of Wupperthal on Sunday.

Read more on:    sassa  |  cogta  |  cape town  |  weather

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