MEC Norman Mokoena meets municipalities under flood threat
4 Dec 2009
The MEC for the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr Norman Mokoena, accompanied by the MEC of Health and Social Development, Dikeledi Mahlangu, have met with the members of the Provincial Joints Operation Committee and Disaster Management teams of the following municipalities, which face the highest threats of floods: Steve Tshwete, Dr J S Moroka, Emalahleni, Nkomazi, Bushbuckridge, Mbombela, Govan Mbeki, Pixely Ka Seme and the three Districts: Nkangala, Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni.
The aim of the meeting was to discuss possible threats that are caused by rivers that have exceeded their peak flows and dams that are already at 100% full. The areas of concern are the Inkomati River at the Swaziland Border, Komatipoort, Crocodile River Tenbosch, and Crocodile River at Malelane, Kaapriver Kaapmuiden, Sabie River at Lower Sabie, Steenkool Spruit (Kriel), Olifants River at Witbank dam and Olifants River at Flagboshielo. Dams that are already 100% full include the Inyaka, Maguga, Nooitgedacht, and Vygeboom, in the Inkomati catchment and Bronkhorstpruit, Buffelskloof, Klaserie, Loskop, Rust De Winter and Tonteldoos Dams in the Olifants Catchment.
MEC Mokoena has instructed all the affected municipalities, coordinated by the districts, to come up with contingency plans to mitigate any possible flooding within seven days. These plans must be submitted to the province so that they can be consolidated into one plan. MEC Mokoena also instructed the Provincial Disaster Management Centre to develop a provincial structure that will plot all stakeholders and get them on standby immediately in case of any possible disaster.
As part of strengthening our disaster preparedness MEC Mokoena has emphasised the importance of mobilising all stakeholders and ensuring that everybody recognises that disaster is every ones business. All the identified municipalities will conduct door to door campaigns in the most prone areas to conscientise communities on plans to mitigate the disasters. “We will engage churches, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), traditional leaders and organised business to assist with relief aid for any areas that might be affected by floods. Government will also embark on an exercise to recruit volunteers in all municipalities who will assist when disasters strike,” said Mokoena.
MEC Mokoena also urged all municipalities to do regular water testing and strengthen their water treatment especially during this rainy season. He added that government will be on the lookout for any illegal dams and will enforce the law on people found with such dams and releasing such water into rivers.
All disaster management teams in the municipalities and the province will be on full alert throughout the festive season. Communities are urged to report any possible floods or storms to the department’s disaster toll free number 080 020 2507.
There will be a follow up meeting within the next week to view the contingency plans.
Cell: 082 413 3931
Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
4 December 2009
Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance
4 Dec 2009
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