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Disaster Management

28 July 2023 Media Release: Oil spill sampling training and what you should know

Media Release:  Oil spill sampling training and what you should know

For Immediate Release
28 July 2023

A debriefing session was held by the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre (GRDMC) after the December 2022 oil droplet pollution along the Garden Route beaches. It was noted that there is a need for formal accredited training on correct oil pollution sampling procedures. The South African Maritime Safety Authority​ (SAMSA) managed to obtain the services of Mr Conor Bolas from International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF) to present this training.

On Wednesday, 26 July 2023, this training was presented via an on-line platform from their London Offices to more than 130 officials. ITOPF is a non-profit organisation that represents ship owners around the world and endorses a precise and operational response of oil spills, chemical spills, and any other hazardous substance spills in the marine environment.

In most cases spills occur within the ocean or coastal waters, however, they may also occur on land. Dr Bolas explained how the oil is broken down through a process called Chromatography; this process is a laboratory technique that separates a mixture into its original components. Once the oil has been tested, it is possible to know who is responsible for the oil spill based on the properties of the oil.

During the oil spill sampling training, valuable insights into best practices were received. The training, consisting of four sessions focused on Marine Spill Forensics.

Session 1 commenced with an introduction to ITOPF and the importance of sampling. The reasons for obtaining samples were thoroughly explained, and case studies were presented.

In session 2, Dr Bolas delved into understanding analysis, where a comprehensive overview of tests and standards was provided. To keep the session interactive, a quiz was conducted.

Session 3 covered potential complications and focused on sample considerations, including the required type, quantity, and quality. Additionally, other factors were explored such as laboratory capabilities, storage and shipping, oil weathering, legal aspects, and cost recovery.

Moving on to Session 4, various other factors were discussed, including the identification and monitoring of Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS), costs and compensation, taint testing, dispersants, wildfire and environmental monitoring. Emphasis was placed on sampling strategy, sample types, and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs).

In summary, Dr Bolas extensively covered the following topics:

  • The key reasons for sampling.
  • How to conduct proper sampling.
  • Types of analysis performed.
  • Understanding chemical fingerprinting.
  • Complicating factors in sampling.
  • Choosing appropriate analytes and considering the effects of weathering on samples.
  • Considerations for HNS and other specific circumstances.
  • Environmental monitoring and sampling.

-END-

Feature image:  Image of oil in water

Did you know: 

An oil spill is when liquid petroleum hydrocarbon is released into the environment because of human behaviour, particularly in marine areas. In most cases spills occur within the ocean or coastal waters, however, they may also occur on land.

27 July 2023 Media Release: Garden Route DM Council raises concerns about climate change

Media Release: Garden Route DM Council raises concerns about climate change

For Immediate Release
28 July 2023

This week at an Ordinary Council meeting hosted at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council Chambers on Wednesday 26 July, the Council of GRDM expressed their concern about weather-related incidents. Evidence is becoming clearer of a changing climate, following persistent rain in the Garden Route during the past few months.

Garden Route has become used to the high rainfall during the winter months, however in the recent never-ending periods of rain (more is predicted), with few intermittent days of sunlight, or cloud cover hampering drying out of soil and surfaces these conditions have changed the Garden Route’s landscape with diverse impacts on the agricultural, construction and commercial business sectors, as well as the urban and rural communities dependent on their normal functioning.

Rainfall figures were not exceedingly high throughout the past few months, but the constant floods and the fact that the wet region never had time to shed the water and properly dry out, damaged tarred roads and caused gravel roads to gradually become impassable. Furthermore, the erven of township dwellers with little ground cover, were completely wet for weeks on end.

Farmers on the coastal plateau perhaps suffered the most as productive dairy cows and livestock developed a variety of diseases because of the constantly muddy and wet underfoot conditions.  These cows had to be slaughtered as there is not enough time between rainy periods to recover and with many remain in a doubtful state of health.

GRDM Councillors stressed the need for regional preparedness in dealing with a changing climate, and how to be better prepared for out of the ordinary climate events.  Council also suggested that academic institutions such as universities should be requested for input and guidance, and from what avenues to obtain funding from, for invasive alien plant management and the upkeep of storm water systems. These funds should be sourced from national government where possible.

All this comes at a time when Europe and North America suffers the highest temperatures on record with thousands dying as the air becomes unbreathable and the constant heat unbearable. With this, the United Nations are expressing serious concerns and insisting actions, to dramatically reduce the burning of fossil fuels and that climate change inaction is unacceptable.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) recently co- hosted the Annual Climate Change and Environment Management Indaba with the Nelson Mandela University at the George campus. At the event, experts agreed that the Garden Route is a disaster-prone region, and that more planning needs to be in place even as predictions are that the region is heading to a drier period as the El Nino weather pattern will take effect later this year.

Article by: Cobus Meiring

11 July 2023 Public Notice: GRDM appoints AK Consultants to supply and deliver diesel-powered generators

Public Notice

11 July 2023

GRDM appoints AK Consultants to supply and deliver diesel-powered generators

After following a competitive bidding process the Garden Route District Municipality appointed AK Consultants to supply and deliver five (5) mobile 100 KVA diesel powered generators to be used as back-up units during the current energy crisis.

These units will be placed at Garden Route District Municipal offices in the district.

Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit stel AK Konsultante aan om diesel kragopwekkers te verskaf

Nadat ‘n mededingende bodproses gevolg is, het die Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit AK Consultants aangestel om vyf (5) mobiele 100 KVA diesel-aangedrewe kragopwekkers te verskaf, wat as rugsteuneenhede gebruik sal word tydens beurtkrag.

Die eenhede sal by Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaleit se kantore, regoor die streek, geplaas word.

UMasipala Wesithili iGarden Route  uchonge inkampani i-AK Consultants ukuba babonelele kwaye inikezele ngeejenereyitha ezisebenza ngedizili

Emva kokulandela inkqubo ekhuphisanayo nemigaqo yezibophelelo uMasipala weSithili seGarden Route uchonge inkampani i-A K Consultants ukuba ibonelele kwaye inikezele ngeejenereyitha ezintlanu ezisebenza ngedizili eziyi-100 KVA eziza kusetyenziswa njengeeyunithi zokuxhasa ngexesha lobunzima bombane obukhoyo.

Ezi yunithi ziya kubekwa kwii-ofisi zikaMasipala weSithili saseGarden Route kwisithili ukuze zifumaneke zincedise njengamacandelo ombane axhasayo kwimeko kaxakeka.

 MG Stratu
Municipal Manager
54 York Street
PO Box 12
GEORGE
6530
Tel:   044 803 1300
Notice number: 96/2023

Download the official notice here.

26 June 2023 Media Release: In order for communities to survive climate change, it’s back to the basics for government

Media Release: In order for communities to survive climate change, it’s back to the basics for Government

For Immediate Release
26 June 2023

“The still rising Cholera death toll in Gauteng and elsewhere in the interior should serve as a rude awakening for Local Governments as well as the communities they serve. In order for all to enjoy essential necessities such as clean running water and health, we need to refocus our attention on better managing our natural resources and fixing and maintaining the basics before we even consider anything else”, says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) and Councillor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) on the eve of the Annual Climate Change and Environmental Management Indaba at the Nelson Mandela University.

Whilst the impact of a changing climate and rainfall patterns is complicated and threatens drought and hardship for the unprepared, the management of our natural resources is not difficult at all if the collective, and especially Local Governments, apply their minds, resources, and efforts. As an example, raw sewerage spewing from moribund waste water works countrywide has changed the river ecology and water quality of the Vaal and Olifants and almost all other river systems and estuaries in South Africa to levels that will be difficult to recover from. This has significant consequences for the quality of life of our citizens and South Africa’s food security.

A government can rightly be judged by the way it takes care of its precious natural resources, and water is by far the most important. The management of sewerage water is not a sexy subject, but by ignoring the functioning and maintenance of sewerage treatment plants at local municipalities they allowed the first domino to fall towards excessive misery and deprivation for communities already suffering from economic hardship and poverty.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and unfortunate disasters such as the Cholera outbreak will force authorities back to managing the basics. Similarly, the multimillion-Rand fine recently imposed on the Standerton Municipality by the Blue Scorpions for allowing raw sewerage to flow into the Vaal River may well be a turning point in an otherwise downward spiral.

Another promising example of potential environmental prosperity is the billions of Rand being made available by the Western world to assist South Africa in its transition to clean energy presenting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for South Africa to become a global leader in environmental management and at the same time allowing the country to prepare for what the changing climate will be throwing at us.

Inquiries: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

Feature image: Little hope the Vaal River’s sewage pollution crisis will end any time soon (Picture: Nneka Nwogwugwu).

Editor’s note: The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a Climate Change think- tank and public platform for environmental managers and conservation entities in the Southern Cape.

ENDS

08 June 2023 Media Release: Grade 4 Learners Educated On Plastic Pollution

Media Release: Grade 4 Learners Educated On Plastic Pollution

For Media Release
8 June 2023

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Disaster Management Unit in collaboration with the George Local Municipality’s Disaster Management presented a World Environmental Health Day Awareness campaign at Heidedal Primary school in George on 5 June 2023.

The theme by the United Nations for this year’s Environment Awareness Day is plastic pollution. The GRDM and George Municipality’s officials decided to target Grade 4 learners for this year’s program. The objectives were to educate learners about what plastic pollution is; and the detrimental impacts plastic pollution has on the environment and animals.

It was emphasised in a highly interactive session that plastic is not biodegradable material, which means that it cannot decompose by living organisms. Many people choose to simply throw it away everywhere.

Learners were also encouraged to involve themselves in the recycling of plastics and other recyclable waste materials to avoid a polluted environment and illegal dumping.

The overall aim of this awareness campaign was to bring awareness to the younger generation of the severity of plastic pollution on our environment. A clean environment is a healthy environment, so it is also important to teach the kids how to prevent and fix this persistent issue.

Educational materials were handed out to learners during the session.

END

5 June 2023: A mapping system for visualizing the impact of climate change, socio-economic pressure, municipal and infrastructure collapse in a future South Africa

A mapping system for visualizing the impact of climate change, socio-economic pressure, municipal and infrastructure collapse in a future South Africa

For Immediate Release
5 June 2023

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) approached Dr Roy Marcus, a Systems and Design Thinking specialist, to address the 29 June 2023 Annual GREF Climate Change and Environmental Management Indaba on the projected impacts of climate change in South Africa. The impacts, which are amplified by real-time socio-economic pressures and the systemic collapse of governance, high levels of corruption, violent crime, political instability in major municipalities and severe and sustained power blackouts in South Africa are becoming more real every day.

In 2018 Dr Roy Marcus was invited by (GREF) as a keynote speaker to commemorate the devastating June 2017 Knysna wildfire disaster which left a trail of destruction on a scale never seen before in South Africa, and at the time he also visualized a post- Covid 19 South Africa, identifying many of the impacts which are only now manifesting in the RSA economy compounding the destruction and vandalizing of vitally important hard infrastructure, poverty and increased joblessness.

Dr Marcus makes use of a mapping system for visualizing a future South Africa to better understand the socio-economic and political relationships, challenges and opportunities facing the country, for example the Just Energy Transition away from coal-based energy generation towards green energy.

According to Cobus Meiring, convener of the Garden Route Environmental Forum, much of the 2017 series of wildfire disasters, recent drought in the Karoo, flash floods in the Southern Cape and especially KZN, as well as measurable sea-level rise along the Mossel Bay coastline are the result of a changing climate. This is the case not only for South Africa but globally, where out-of-control wildfire disasters have destroyed millions of hectares of land and infrastructure in Canada, Portugal and California.

Says Dr Marcus, “As South Africa emerges from one of its worst political and economic crises since democracy was achieved in 1994, the country finds itself having to cope with the aftershock of the surreal Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, social media was awash with commentaries, advice and a whole lot of confusion.  Sadly, in all of the confusion, there was little evidence of a systemic approach to gain a better appreciation of the real impact of both the virus itself, as well as the raft of legislation that was promulgated to lessen the burden of the pandemic.”

“As a present-day example, we are witnessing the demise of Eskom and Transnet which are both grossly underperforming, and there is a justified fear of what the economic impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resultant precarious RSA foreign policy decisions may have in alienating the country from the Western world, putting the country’s already fragile economic survival at risk.”

There is limited evidence of any discussion relating to the harsh realities the country will face going forward with severely restricted electricity and water security risk on the rise.

In view of these realities, it is suggested that a way of gaining some insight into the effect of the current impacts, as well as testing some ideas that may go some way in alleviating the burden, is to produce a systems map.  Such a map will go a long way to “tell the story” and present some ideas as to what the implications of various actions could be on the long-term future of the country.”

This map attempts to present all the key role players and their influence on the future of this country. The map is based on a Systems and Design Thinking approach and suggests a number of possible outcomes, which could result from either ill-defined decisions or well-informed actions taken by key stakeholders.

Dr Marcus incorporates a mapping system called Kumu. The developers describe the system as a powerful visualization platform for mapping systems and better understanding relationships.

“We blend systems thinking, stakeholder mapping, and social network analysis to help the world’s top influencers turn ideas into impact”.

“Based on a Design Thinking approach, the model sets out to identify all those factors which contribute to the ‘Mess Formulation’. Identifying the “mess” is key to finding a way out of the difficulties. The key question in identifying all those factors that contribute to the mess is to determine how the country would eventually destroy itself if it were to continue behaving as it currently is. The mess provides a factual, verifiable and unemotional picture of the current reality.”

As part of an ongoing debate series on parallels drawn between the impact of COVID-19 and that of climate change, GREF intends to have a follow-up discussion with Dr Marcus in order to track the development of the mapping system and its indicators.

In order to enhance collaboration and the sharing of critical information, the GREF programme for the Indaba will include a host of provincial, regional and local environmental speakers who will focus on land management, environmental risk management, water stewardship, coastal management, legislation, biodiversity and possible future scenarios to enable the region to implement and fast- track adaptation models.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a public platform for environmental management entities in the Southern Cape and a regional think tank on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

  1. Dr Roy Marcus, Design thinking specialist
    Mobile: +27 82 600 0202
    Email: roy@thecollab.co.za
  1. Cobus Meiring: Chair of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) Secretariat
    Mobile: 083 626 7619
    Email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

 

Afrikaanse opsomming:

Die Tuinroete-omgewingsforum (GREF) het dr. Roy Marcus genooi om by hul klimaatsveranderingkonferensie op 29 Junie 2023 te praat oor die geprojekteerde impak van klimaatsverandering in Suid-Afrika. Dr. Marcus sal ‘n karteringstelsel genaamd Kumu gebruik om die toekoms van die land te visualiseer en die sosio-ekonomiese en politieke uitdagings wat dit in die gesig staar, beter te verstaan. Die impak van klimaatsverandering word versterk deur sosio-ekonomiese druk en die ineenstorting van bestuur, insluitend korrupsie, misdaad, politieke onstabiliteit en kragonderbrekings. Hierdie kwessies word verder vererger deur Suid-Afrika se stryd om te herstel van sy onlangse politieke en ekonomiese krisisse, sowel as die nasleep van die COVID-19-pandemie. Die karteringstelsel het ten doel om insigte in die huidige impakte te verskaf en potensiële oplossings te verken. GREF beplan om samesprekings met dr. Marcus voort te sit om die ontwikkeling van die karteringstelsel en sy aanwysers te monitor. Die konferensie sal ook sprekers bevat wat onderwerpe aanspreek wat verband hou met omgewingsbestuur en aanpassingsmodelle.

15 May 2023 Media Release: Informal settlements remain a priority – 1700 Smoke alarms installed to date

Media Release: Informal settlements remain a priority – 1700 Smoke alarms installed to date

For Immediate Release
15 May 2023

The Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Disaster Management Centre, in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Local Government Disaster Management & Fire & Rescue Services, Bitou- and Kannaland local municipalities have installed 1700 smoke detection devices in high fire-risk informal settlements.

In the first phase of the project, which concluded at the end of March 2022, approximately 1400 smoke alarms were installed in the Qolweni/Bossiegif area of the Bitou local municipality. Kannaland local municipal area was the site of the second phase of the project, which was completed within three months, from 20 December 2022 to 20 February 2023.  Approximately 300 devices were installed within the informal areas of Calitzdorp, Van Wyksdorp, Zoar, and Ladismith.

On Wednesday, 10 May 2023, a delegation from the GRDM Disaster Management, including the Portfolio Chairperson for Community Services, Councillor Ndayi, a representative from the Western Cape Department of Local Government Disaster Management & Fire & Rescue Services, Ms Rowena Page, and the GRDM Fire Services installation team stationed in Ladismith, visited the different towns in Kannaland to inspect the smoke devices which were installed earlier this year.

“The last 700 devices of a total of 2400 smoke devices will be installed within high-risk informal areas within Bitou- and Kannaland municipal areas,” said Gerhard Otto, Head of GRDM Disaster Management.

This pilot project is an important step towards improving disaster risk reduction particularly in areas that are more vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters and emergencies.

For more information, please contact the Garden Route District Municipality’s Disaster Management Centre.

END

XHOSA

IZiko loLawulo lweNtlekele likaMasipala weSithili saseGarden Route (i-GRDM), ngentsebenziswano neSebe loLawulo lweeNtlekele kuRhulumente wePhondo leNtshona Koloni & neeNkonzo zoMlilo noHlangulo, oomasipala bengingqi iBitouneKannaland bafakele izixhobo zokufumanisa umsi ezili-1700 kumatyotyombe asemngciphekweni omkhulu womlilo.

Kwinqanaba lokuqala lenqubo/projekthi, elaqukunjelwa ekupheleni kukaMatshi ka-2022, malunga ne-1400 yezixhobo zokulumkisa umsi zaye zafakelwa kwindawo yaseQolweni/Bossiegif kumasipala wengingqi waseBitou. Ummandla kamasipala wengingqi yaseKannaland wawuyindawo yesigaba sesibini senqubo/iprojekthi, eyagqitywa kwisithuba seenyanga ezintathu, ukusuka ngomhla wama-20 kweMnga ka-2022 ukuya kwi-20 kweyoMdumba ku2023. Malunga nezixhobo ezingama-300 zaye zafakelwa kwiindawo zamatyotyombe eCalitzdorp, eVan Wyksdorp, eZoar naseLadismith.

“Izixhobo zokugqibela ezingama-700  zenani elingama- 2400 xalilonke zomsi ziya kufakwa kwiindawo ezinobungozi obungacwangciswanga kwiindawo kamasipala waseBitou- naseKannaland,” watsho uGerhard Otto, iNtloko yoLawulo lweNtlekele ye-GRDM.

Le projekthi ilingwayo linyathelo elibalulekileyo elibhekiselele ekuphuculeni ukuncitshiswa kweentlekele ngokukodwa kwiindawo ezisesichengeni kakhulu kwiintlekele zendalo kunye neentlekele ezenziwe ngabantu kunye neemeko zikaxakeka.

Ngolwazi oluthe vetshe, nceda uqhagamshelane neZiko loLawulo lweeNtlekele kuMasipala weSithili saseGarden Route.

 AFRIKAANS

Die Tuinroete Distriksmunisipaliteit (GRDM) se Rampbestuursentrum, in samewerking met die Wes-Kaapse Departement van Plaaslike Regering Rampbestuur & Brandweer- en Reddingsdienste, asook die Bitou- en Kannaland plaaslike munisipaliteite, het tot op hede 1700 rooksensors in hoërisiko- informele nedersettings binne die Tuinroete distrik munisipale gebied uitgerol. Dié inisiatief is van stapel gestuur om ramprisikos waar skokbrande gereeld voorkom, te verminder. Daar is nog 700 sensors oor – geoormerk vir hoë risiko-areas in Kannaland en Bitou-areas.

Here are some pictures from the inspection session on Wednesday, 10 May 2023 in Kannaland

Related article: 

01 February 2022 Media Release – GRDM and stakeholders to install smoke detectors in Qolweni, Bitou

9 December 2022 Media Release: Garden Route DM is installing 700 smoke detectors in Kannaland

29 March 2023 Media Release: Garden Route District Municipality supports Western Cape Government’s Water Awareness Campaign in Kannaland

Garden Route District Municipality supports Western Cape Government’s Water Awareness Campaign in Kannaland

For immediate release
29 March 2023

The Western Cape Department of Local Government on 27 March 2023, embarked on a door-to-door awareness campaign in Ladismith (Kannaland) to encourage citizens to use water responsibly. In the roll-out of the campaign, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Disaster Management officials joined the Community Development Workers on 28 March 2023 to further enhance the initiative with the aim of reaching more residents of the area.

Garden Route District Municipality’s Disaster Management officials during the Responsible Water Awareness Campaign in Kannaland.

The Responsible Water Awareness Campaign runs in the Garden Route district until 31 March 2023. With this initiative messages of the importance of water and how to use it sparingly are shared.  An outside radio broadcast and activation at the Spar in Ladismith has already taken place.

The campaign was rolled out in response to the recent decline in dam water levels. The message has been clear –  reinforcing the need to save water, especially with the upcoming winter season.  The need to conserve water is a long-term behavioural change, and constant reminders are required to make the message stick, especially with the increased levels of loadshedding having a further impact on the provision of water.

This campaign will also be extended to provincial radio and social media pages.

By: GRDM Communication Intern, Jacqueline Thomson

ENDS

10 March 2023 Media Release: Load shedding relief: GRDM receives R1.6 million for generators from the WC Government

Load shedding relief: GRDM receives R1.6 million for generators from the WC Government

For Immediate Release
10 March 2023

Since load shedding is expected to continue and possibly increase going forward, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) approached the Western Cape Department of Local Government to apply for an Emergency Municipal Load Shedding Grant.

This action was taken in response to the GRDM Disaster Risk Reduction – capacity building plan, aimed at implementing emergency measures at district level to mitigate the impacts of load shedding on municipal services, businesses, and the economy.

In response, GRDM received R1.6 million to buy at least four (4) mobile 120 KVA diesel powered back-up generators. These will help local municipalities in the Garden Route.  The purpose of the new back-up power units would be to use at water and waste water sites.

GRDM also intends to assist local municipalities in need of Water Use Licence Applications/Renewals (WULA). Several municipalities have struggled to comply due to an overflowing or spilling sewer at pump stations – a direct result of not having backup energy at all their sites.

This project will help to temporarily reduce the effects of load shedding on basic services, especially water and sanitation.

-End-

Relevant Documentation:
E200CS CANOPY – 120KVA CANOPY GENERATOR
Provincial-Gazette-Extra-2023-GJ_8719-Extra-Treasury-Funds-2023

7 February 2022 Media Release: Garden Route DM continues to assist local municipalities with loadshedding impacts

Garden Route DM continues to assist local municipalities with load shedding impacts

For Immediate Release
7 February 2023

South Africa experienced a staggering 133 days of power outages in 2022, with November 2022 hitting a peak of 27 days of outages for the entire month. The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently again engaged on a platform with the Western Cape Government (WCG) Head of Department for Local Government to discuss the load shedding crisis. It was confirmed that stages 4-6 of load shedding would become the norm for South Africa in the foreseeable future.

In response to this dire situation, GRDM has assisted George Municipality in applying for an exemption from load shedding above stage three for the municipality’s water purification plant and main domestic water pump stations. Eskom has approved this exemption until June 2023. “We have also assisted Oudtshoorn Municipality in applying for an exemption above stage three for the operation of their water infrastructure. This includes providing water to the Klein Karoo Rural Water Supply Scheme, which includes boreholes in Dysselsdorp. This particular approval is pending the construction of a short feeder line, which is currently required,” said Gerhard Otto, Head of Disaster Management at GRDM.

Below are a few images of the Klein Karoo Rural Water Supply Scheme boreholes in Dysselsdorp

According to Otto, GRDM has also been providing bulk domestic water storage tanks (5000-litre tanks) to ensure that water is available to residents in Kannaland and Oudtshoorn in high-lying areas. “ Since the start of January 2023, the GRDM Fire Services has provided approximately 102 000 litres of water to water-stressed communities in the Klein Karoo.

GRDM has also applied to the WC Provincial Government for funding towards the rental or purchase of backup generator units. These will assist local municipalities where they experience challenges due to extended periods of load shedding. Unfortunately, this will place a severe strain on the operational budgets of municipalities because of the high cost of diesel required to keep the generators running.

GRDM has contacted the Provincial and National Disaster Management Centres to determine if it would be possible to declare the Garden Route district as a local disaster area due to the current load shedding challenges. This would enable local municipalities to access disaster grant funding as well as to implement emergency measures to be able to address financial, as well as operational challenges, due to the current prolonged periods of load shedding.

The Premier of the Western Cape will be requesting the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, to declare a national state of disaster. If this is not approved, the National Disaster Centre will alternatively be requested to classify the Western Cape as a provincial disaster area.

ENDS