Municipal Disaster Management

Municipal Disaster Management

The Disaster Management Act, Act 57 of 2002, as amended, calls for the establishment of disaster management centres at each District Municipality. The Garden Route District Municipality adhered to this call by officially opening a Municipal District Management Centre in 2008. This state of the art facility is equipped with both a joint operational command and tactical decision areas. In addition to this, the centre is staffed with a dedicated research section focusing on disaster-related research in order to guide district policies to create a more disaster resilient district for the future.

In line with the spirit of the amendments done to the Disaster Management legislation, the Garden Route Centre also incorporates a section focusing on, not only biodiversity management but also to spearheading and aligning climate change adaptation and mitigation programs and activities in the district. This section provides the impetus for mainstreaming climate change adaptation and mitigation in the district.

What is a disaster?

A disaster is a progressive or sudden, widespread or localised, natural or human-caused incident that:

(a) causes or threatens to cause

  • death, injury or disease,
    Flooded streetdamage to property, infrastructure or the environment, or
    disruption of the life of a community, and

(b) is of a scale that exceeds the ability of those affected by the disaster to cope with the effects using only their own resources.

 

Disaster Management Centre

The centre, which forms part of the Garden Route District Municipality’s Department Community Services, is equipped with joint operational command and tactical decision areas.  In order to stay abreast with regional emergency-related activities, a 24/7 call centre has been established adjacent to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC). The 24/7 call centre is operated in conjunction with provincial Emergency and Medical Services (EMS) and renders an emergency call taking and dispatch platform servicing the district as a whole. In addition to the EMS call taking staff the Garden Route DM call centre is staffed with four permanently employed operators as well as two call centre reservists.

Legislative Requirements for a Municipal Disaster Management Centre

According to legislation, a Municipal DMC, must:

  • give guidance to organs of state, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, communities and individuals in the municipal area to assess and prevent or reduce the risk of disasters;
  • monitor and measure the performance and evaluating disaster management plans and prevention, mitigation and response initiatives of local municipal entities;
  • specialise in issues concerning disasters and disaster management in the municipal area;
  • promote an integrated and co-ordinated approach to disaster management in the municipal area, with special emphasis on prevention and mitigation;
  • act as a repository of, and conduit for, information concerning disasters, impending disasters and disaster management in the municipal area;
  • make recommendations regarding the funding of disaster management in the municipal area, and initiate and facilitate efforts to make such funding available;
  • in the event of a local disaster may make recommendations to any relevant organ of state or statutory functionary, on whether a local state of disaster should be declared in terms of section 55;
  • promote the recruitment, training and participation of volunteers in disaster management in the municipal area;
  • promote disaster management capacity building, training and education, including in schools, in the municipal area;

Furthermore, the Municipal DMC, may:

  • act as an advisory and consultative body on issues concerning disasters and disaster management in the municipal area;
  • promote research into all aspects of disaster management in the municipal area;
  • give advice and guidance by disseminating information regarding disaster management in the municipal area, especially to communities that are vulnerable to disasters; and
  • engage in any lawful activity in the municipal area, whether alone or together with any other organisation, aimed at promoting the effective exercise of its powers and performance of its duties.

Western Cape Disaster Management and National Disaster Management

If a disaster is of a magnitude that cannot be dealt with by the district resources alone, the Western Cape Disaster Management and the National Disaster Management resources are deployed.

Call Centre

In order to stay abreast with regional emergency-related activities, a 24/7 Emergency Communications Call Centre has been established adjacent to the DMC. This 24/7 call centre is operated in conjunction with provincial Emergency and Medical Services (EMS) and renders an emergency call taking and dispatch platform servicing the district as a whole. In addition to the EMS call taking staff the Garden Route DM call centre is staffed with a Call Centre Supervisor, four permanently employed Operators as well as two call centre reservists.

The main powers and duties of Municipal DMC is defined and listed in the Disaster Management Act, Act 57 of 2002 as amended.

For more information or queries, please contact:

Mr Gerhard Otto
Manager: Disaster Management
Tel
044 803 1300
E-mail:
disastermanagement@gardenroute.gov.za

Mr Clive Africa
Executive Manager: Community Services
Tel:  044 803 1572
Fax: 044 874 6626
E-mail: community@gardenroute.gov.za