Category: Disaster Management

The following severe weather alerts have been issued by the Cape Town Weather office:

Hazard 1 Alert Level Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
High Seas Watch 21/06/19 00h00 22/06/19 00h00

Wave heights between 6-7.5m are expected between Cape Columbine and Cape Agulhas from Friday evening, spreading to Plettenberg Bay Saturday morning, subsiding by the afternoon.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.  Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Hazard 2 Alert Level Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
Damaging Winds Watch 21/06/19 00h00 21/06/19 00h00

Watch: Gale force north-westerly winds (60-75km/h, gusting 80-100km/h) are expected in places over the Central Karoo, Breede Valley, Cape Peninsula, and coastal regions between Table Bay and Plettenberg Bay (Western Cape) on Friday(21/06/2019). Advisory: Strong north-westerly to westerly (40-60km/h)winds are expected over the southern West Coast District, Cape Winelands, Overberg and Garden Route Districts (Western Cape) on Friday.

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

To report any incidents, contact the GRDM Disaster Management Centre at tel: 044 805 5071

Severe Weather Alert

A Severe Weather Alert was issued by the Cape Town Weather Office as follows:

Hazard:High Seas

Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 05/06/19 – 01h00
Valid To (SAST): 06/06/19 – 08h00

Wave heights of 6m are expected in places between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay today (Wednesday), subsiding tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.  Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.  Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured.  Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Flooding / Heavy Rain

Flooding occurs when water overflows its normal channels such as streams and storm water drains. It can occur with prolonged period of rain, with continuous heavy falls or in the form of flash floods which are usually associated with severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain may also result in river flooding causing damage downstream to areas that may receive no rainfall at all during the flooding event.

Precautions: Flooding / Heavy Rain

If possible stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped in flooding in a vehicle, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level. Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building. In rural areas protect/relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground. Abandon your home immediately if evacuation is recommended, before access is cut off by flood water. NEVER drive on a road covered by water. You do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm dry winds, veldt or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds.

Precautions: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Don’t make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veldt. Don’t throw bottles in the veldt as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires. Prepare and maintain fire breaks in controlled manner. In the case of a large fire report it immediately and move away from the area to let the professionals deal with it. Never throw water onto a fire started by an electrical fault or fires started by oil or paraffin lamps. In this case sand or a blanket should be used to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.

Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.
Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any incidents to the Garden Route DM Disaster Management Centre at: 044-805 5071.

GRDM is taking proactive steps to deal with climate change

“As the Garden Route commemorates the June 2017 wildfire disaster and prepares to host a Climate Change Indaba, climate change related disasters are on the increase in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

“With thousands affected and the regional population traumatised, the June 2017 Knysna wildfire disaster was perhaps one of the most dramatic and destructive events in living memory to hit Southern Africa in general, and the Garden Route in particular.”

“To compound matters, back in June 2017, the Southern Cape was suffering the consequences of a prolonged and severe drought, with areas in the Klein Karoo completely running out of water with economic activity shrinking and agricultural output dropping dramatically.”

“Much of what the environment was suffering can be ascribed to the effects of climate change, and local government is increasingly shifting its focus and efforts towards finding ways to cope with the effects of climate change, ” says Dr Viljoen.  

“However, with the flooding of KwaZulu-Natal and Beira in northern Mozambique, South Africa is not alone in suffering from climate change”, continues Dr Viljoen. Recently United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has been urging the international community to quickly fund emergency aid appeals for Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, saying they have suffered “one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of Africa.”

Guterres said the devastation has affected three million people, nearly two-thirds of them in Mozambique, and “there are reports that $1 billion worth of infrastructure has been destroyed.” Many areas still have no electricity.

The UN chief called Cyclone Idai an “uncommonly fierce and prolonged storm — yet another alarm bell about the dangers of climate change, especially in vulnerable, at-risk countries.”

He said such events are becoming more frequent and devastating, “and this will only get worse if we do not act now.”

Concludes Dr Viljoen, “In a proactive step to deal with climate change, the Garden Route District Municipality is making good progress in the development of the regional Climate Change and Adaptation Strategy Document, and in due course, we will be making more information available”.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) will be hosting the Annual Fire  Commemoration event and Climate Change Indaba on 7 June 2019. More information will be made available on the GREF website https://www.scli.org.za/GREF.

WEBSITE: https://www.scli.org.za/GREF/

** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Dr Nina Viljoen: Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Tel/Cell: +27 (0)44 803 1318 | +27 (0)67 035 9203

Email: nina@gardenroute.gov.za

 

Severe Weather Alert

A Severe Weather Alert was issued by the Cape Town Weather Office as follows:

Hazard: Damaging Winds

Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 05/06/19 – 00h00
Valid To (SAST): 05/06/19 – 19h00

Warning: Gale force westerly to south-westerly winds (60-75km/h gusting 80-90km/h) are expected along the coastal regions between Cape Point and Plettenberg Bay tomorrow early morning (Wednesday), subsiding early evening.

Advisory: Strong westerly to north-westerly winds (50-65km/h) are expected over the Central Karoo and the Breede Valley (Western Cape) tomorrow early morning, subsiding by evening.

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured.  Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm dry winds, veldt or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds.

Precautions: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Don’t make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veldt. Don’t throw bottles in the veldt as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires. Prepare and maintain fire breaks in controlled manner. In the case of a large fire report it immediately and move away from the area to let the professionals deal with it. Never throw water onto a fire started by an electrical fault or fires started by oil or paraffin lamps. In this case, sand or a blanket should be used to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.

Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.

Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any incidents to the Garden Route DM Disaster Management Centre at: 044-805 5071

Destruction of ecological infrastructure worsens the impact of floods

“Failure of ecological infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal worsens the impact of recent floods, and the Garden Route must learn from the severe disaster,” says Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum.

According to Dr Viljoen, a series of deadly cyclones and high-intensity rainstorms in KwaZulu-Natal and Mozambique was such that no matter what, the impact would have resulted in disaster.

“The impact of urban and rural development on the ability of nature in mitigating and managing severe floods and rainstorms, cannot be underestimated. The fact that landowners all over the world want to build their houses as close as possible to rivers and ocean shores exponentially raise the risk of the destruction of their property in the event of flooding and ocean storm surges,” warns Dr Viljoen.

She explains: “Over time we have destroyed our ecological infrastructure enabling nature to cope with heavy rain such as wetlands and seep lines. We have channelled our river systems, and hardened saturation surfaces and water table recharge zones, leaving flood waters to gain unbridled energy and volumes, destroying everything in its path and claiming many lives”.

“Considering the predicated impact of climate change, and an increase in severe weather conditions and possible natural disasters, authorities must be vigilant in planning for expansion, and allowing development in areas that are naturally sensitive and prone to disaster”.

On 7 June this year, the Garden Route District Municipality and the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) will be hosting the 2017 Fire Commemoration event and Climate Change and Adaption Indaba in George.

Environmental and climate change experts will review the overarching research and strategy development that has taken place over the past two years regarding environmental risk reduction in the region, and the physical measures that have been implemented. The indaba will also establish a roadmap of what is planned for the region in the coming months to confront the challenges of climate change readiness.

Interested organisations and individuals who would like to attend the Annual Fire Commemoration event and Climate Change and Adaption Indaba on 7 June, can send an email to janet@papertreeprojects.co.za.

WEBSITE: https://www.scli.org.za/GREF/

** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Dr Nina Viljoen: Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Tel/Cell: +27 (0)44 803 1318 | +27 (0)67 035 9203

Email: nina@gardenroute.gov.za

Are we better prepared to deal with fire disasters?

“Blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, the Garden Route can be a deadly deceiving place, as the recent wildfire catastrophes and crippling drought proved,” says Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

“The one question which we are likely to discuss at the Annual Fire Commemoration event and Climate Change and Adaptation Indaba on 7 June, is if we are now better prepared to deal with a repeat of the 2017 and 2018 fire disasters, or if we are increasingly relying on fire-fighting capacity on the ground and from the air,” says Dr Viljoen.

“In many instances, the very same conditions conducive to set the scene for out of control wildfire, such as regrowth of invasive alien plants which burnt down with the last wildfire, are again a feature on the landscape. Built-up areas in the rural/ urban interface are often still exposed to the build-up of biomass in the landscape, providing ample fuel for runaway wildfire. We do get the sense that communities are often vaguely aware of potential dangers, but are slow to react proactively, therefore we have to focus on investing in a better-informed fire-wise community.”

“Similarly, constant rain during the past weeks and months along the Garden Route creates a false sense of security against drought, but the regional population most certainly must prevail with fresh water conservation measures to permanently reduce consumption, and to accept those measures as a new way of life,” says Dr Viljoen.

More information on the upcoming event will be made available in due course.

WEBSITE: https://www.scli.org.za/GREF/

** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Dr Nina Viljoen: Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Tel/Cell: +27 (0)44 803 1318 | +27 (0)67 035 9203

Email: nina@gardenroute.gov.za

Weather Alert – Heavy Rain

A Severe Weather Alert was issued by the Cape Town Weather Office as follows:

Hazard: Heavy Rain

Alert Level: Watch
Valid From (SAST): 27/05/2019 – 16h00
Valid To (SAST): 27/05/2019 – 23h00

Area: Expected over the eastern mountainous regions of the Garden Route late afternoon today into the evening (Monday).

Description: Flooding / Heavy Rain

Flooding occurs when water overflows its normal channels such as streams and storm water drains. It can occur with prolonged period of rain, with continuous heavy falls or in the form of flash floods which are usually associated with severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain may also result in river flooding causing damage downstream to areas that may receive no rainfall at all during the flooding event.

Precautions: Flooding / Heavy Rain

  • If possible stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles.
  • If trapped in flooding in a vehicle, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level.
  • Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building.
  • In rural areas protect/relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground. Abandon your home immediately if evacuation is recommended, before access is cut off by flood water.
  • NEVER drive on a road covered by water. You do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any incidents to the Garden Route DM Disaster Management Centre at: 044-805 5071

 

Wildfire in Ruitersbos, Mossel Bay

Garden Route Wildfire Update, Ruitersbos 2019/05/14 @ 13:45

Ruiterbos Wildfire Extinguished

Garden Route District Municipality’s fire fighters have departed from the Ruitersbos area. Cape Nature and Witfontein Working on Fire crew members will continue with mopping-up operations and will monitor the area for any flare-ups.

————————————————————

Garden Route Fire Update, Ruitersbos 2019/05/14 @ 11:00

Affected area stretching over approximately 6 hectares. The wildfire is reported to be under control and not posing a threat to life or infrastructure.

Role players / teams on the scene:
Garden Route DM
Mossel Bay Municipality
Cape Nature

————————————————————

Garden Route Fire Update, Ruitersbos 2019/05/14 @ 10:00

Mossel Bay Fire Services requested assistance from Garden Route District Municipality Fire Services.

Initial Response:
5 Crew
1 Skid Unit
1 Medium Pumper

Issued by Garden Route DM

#GardenRouteFire
#RuitersbosFire
#MosselBayFire

More updates will be posted to our social media page: www.facebook.com/gardenroutedm

Forum to commemorate the Knysna fires of 7 June 2017

“The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), incorporating the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF), is looking at the establishment of an annual commemoration event for the 2017 Knysna fires. The forum is currently planning to host a seminar on Friday June 7 to review the environmental preparedness of the Southern Cape regarding risks associated with fire and drought,” says Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

The countryside near Vermaaklikheid resembled a lunar landscape following the devastating wildfire in 2018. The recovery of vegetation in the Southern Cape – following the devastation of some 100 000 hectares in 2018 – is a matter of concern where black wattle and other invasive alien plants are making an unwelcome appearance on the landscape.

“Much has happened in terms of regional disaster prevention and management since the widespread destruction caused by the 2017 Knysna and Plettenberg Bay fires, not to mention the 2018 devastation of some 100 000 hectares along the Outeniqua Mountains, Still Bay and Vermaaklikheid, claiming still more lives and causing untold damage to the regional economy,” says Viljoen.

At a recent workshop hosted at the Nelson Mandela University’s (NMU) Saasveld Campus, options were discussed to generate funds sufficient to address and reduce risks associated with invasive alien biomass in the Southern Cape landscape. In dealing with the aftermath of the respective fire disasters, the Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Councillor Memory Booysen, was quoted as suggesting a tax on landowners to generate funds for invasive alien plant biomass reduction on the landscape. This was merely a discussion point and what was meant by his point-of-view was that we should be open for a debate on how we, as a collective, can become more prepared for future disasters.

Booysen pointed out that there was general agreement that much more must be done by both landowners and authorities to reduce risks if we were to safeguard the region from a recurrence of the 2017 and 2018 fires.

Fire-risk reduction is but one of several environmental matters hitting the GREF spotlight

The proposed 7 June Fire Commemoration seminar will look at the overarching research and strategy development that has taken place over the past two years regarding environmental risk reduction in the region, and the physical measures that have been implemented. The seminar will also provide a roadmap of what is planned for the region in the coming months.

Further announcements on the seminar will be made in due course and information will be published on the GREF website: https://www.scli.org.za/GREF/ closer to the event.

** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

Executive Mayor of GRDM donates 850 potable water containers to Zoar

The residents of Zoar in Kannaland will now be able to store their potable water in proper containers, after the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Cllr Memory Booysen, handed over 850 x 20 liter water containers to Kannaland on Friday, 15 March 2019 at the Library Hall in Ladismith.  Assistance to Kannaland by GRDM was supported by the full Council of GRDM.

Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality, Cllr Memory Booysen, addressing the delegation and officials during the handover ceremony.

The potable containers were handed over to the Executive Mayor of Kannaland, Cllr Magdalene Barry, in the presence of the Western Cape Minister of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Mr Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Ms Beverly Shafer, officials from GRDM and Kannaland Municipality, as well as farm owners and community members of the area.

The delegation and officials during the discussions prior to the handover ceremony.

Mr Gerhard Otto, Manager of Disaster Management of Garden Route DM, during the event, also sketched the dire situation of the dams in Kannaland and thereafter a farm owner raised concerns on how the situation resulted in job losses and affected food security. Mr Willem Burger from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, delivered a summary of how the Department assisted Kannaland through support programmes and projects rolled out in the area during the past years.

GRDM Manager of Disaster Management, Mr Gerhard Otto, Portfolio Chairperson of Properties and Asset Management at GRDM, Cllr Joslyn Johnson, Western Cape Minister of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Mr Anton Bredell, Western Cape MEC for Agriculture, Minister Beverly Shafers, Speaker of Kannaland Municipality, Ms Aletta Theron, Executive Mayor of GRDM, Cllr Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of Kannaland, Cllr Magdalene Barry and GRDM Councillor, Cllr Albertus Rossouw, in front of the truck, with three tanks, that delivers water to the Zoar Community.

During his address at the handover ceremony, Mayor Booysen emphasised and specifically highlighted to all present about negotiations for a district wide developmental project, which the GRDM is currently busy with.  Mayor Booysen said that the project will generate approximately R100 million for the Garden Route district. Although it will mostly affect the coastal areas, he added: “As soon as we receive the accreditation as water service authority, we will then be able to change the focus of the negotiations to address the needs of the Kannaland community, especially the drought and food security, amongst others”.

To the farming representatives and all officials present, Mayor Booysen said:  “We will need your skills and knowledge to assist us in leading the negotiations into a direction required to address these challenges”.

During the event, Minister Bredell, also announced his plans and what his Department has in store for the community of Kannaland. Bredell admitted: “The only solution to address poverty is job creation”. He added:  “With the resealing of the road between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn, as well as the building of a new clinic, jobs will be created – these projects amount to R 38 million.” To address the drought in the area, he added: “We plan to drill two boreholes (R3.4 million) and  plan to rehabilitate the waste water treatment plant that will amount to R195 000”. The Zoar waste water treatment works (R745 000) and also the Calitzdorp waste water treatment works (R1.5 million) is also on the priority list. “Through these initiatives, it is important that we prioritise job creation as part of these projects,” Bredell added.

As part of their itinerary, the delegation then visited farms in the area to witness the current situation and affects of drought in the area. Ms Aletta Theron, Speaker of the Kannaland Council, directed the hand-over programme and extended a word of appreciation to the delegation and representatives who attended the ceremony.