ABSTRACT: South Africa faces increasing levels of disaster risk. It is exposed to a wide range of weather hazards, including drought, cyclones and severe storms that can trigger widespread hardship and devastation. In addition, the border between six southern African neighbours present both natural and human-induced cross-boundary risks. In addition to these, large numbers of people live in conditions of chronic disaster vulnerability, despite ongoing progress to extend essential services to poor urban and rural communities.The purpose of this paper is to define and assess the classification of disasters in South Africa and review the basis for dealing with disasters and large rescue operations. The topic of disaster management, information about the condition of disaster and risk management, policy for mitigation of risks, relief operations, and reconstruction is presented to better understand International comparison and differences.
Literatures and local acts were studied and a detailed perception is presented concerning these issues in South Africa. Figure 1: South Africa Floods (2010 – 2011) 1. INTRODUCTIONDisaster is significant interference of the functionality and threat to a community as a whole including environmental and property losses having an impact on the social life. It can be caused by natural occurrence and by human activities. Natural Disasters are natural hazards which impact a society or a community in an adverse manner.Severe floods in the second-most populous city in South Africa, Cape Town, in June 1994 required the urgency for legal reforms in the field of disaster risk management, invigorating an instructive process resulting in Green and White Papers on Disaster Management. These imperative discussions and protocol documents incurred opportunity for consultation with multiple stakeholder groups and provided the platform for improvement of draft legislation in 2000 that was persistent with evolving international trends in disaster risk reduction. Such sustained, committed and concerted efforts with regard to disaster risk management reform by the government and a wide range of stakeholders were reflected in the promulgation of the Disaster Management Act of South Africa, 2002 (Act No.
57 of 2002) on 15 January 2003. The Act provides for: § an interspersed and co-ordinated disaster risk management policy that focuses on preventing or reducing the risk of disasters, mitigating the severity of disasters, preparedness, rapid and effective response to disasters, and post-disaster recovery § the establishment of national, provincial and municipal disaster management centres § disaster risk management volunteers § matters relating to these issuesThe Act recognizes the wide-ranging opportunities in South Africa to avoid and reduce disaster losses through the concerted energies and efforts of all spheres of government, civil society and the private sector. However, it also acknowledges the crucial need for uniformity in the approach taken by such a diversity of role players and partners. 2. ORGANIZATION FOR PREVENTION AND RESCUEThe Department of Cooperative Governance is responsible for disaster management in South Africa along with National Disaster Management Advisory Forum (NDMAF), National Disaster Management Center (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Center (PDMC) are responsible for implementation. Many other organizations are also involved in rescue and rehabilitation of people and materials after disaster.
2(a) Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA’s)The COGTA Ministry comprises of the Department of Cooperative Governance and the Department of Traditional Affairs. It is the main governing body and responsible organization for disaster regarding legislation and other key issues. The main objective is to attend to people’s concerns first and foremost, followed by supporting the delivery of municipal services to the right quality and standard, promoting good governance, transparency and accountability, ensuring sound financial management and accounting, and building institutional resilience and administrative capability.
2(b) The National Disaster Management Advisory Forum (NDMAF)The National Disaster Management Advisory Forum (NDMAF), which is the second level national structure dealing with disaster matters. The NDMAF is a Technical Forum, established by the Minister for Provincial and Local Government. The Forum is a body in which national, provincial and local government and other disaster management role-players consult one another and co-ordinate their actions on matters relating to disaster management. The main objective of the forum is to make recommendations concerning the national disaster management framework to the Intergovernmental Committee on Disaster Management (ICDM – political Forum), and may advise any organ of state, statutory functionary, non-governmental organization or community or the private sector on any matter relating to disaster management. The NDMAF meets on a quarterly basis and is chaired by the Head of the National Disaster Management Centre.
It comprises of all governmental and non-governmental organizations.2(c) National Disaster Management Center (NDMC) The National Disaster Management Centre is the third level organization is established in terms of Section 8 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No 57 of 2002) (DMA). The National Centre functions as an institution within the public service and forms part of, and functions within, a department of state (DCOG) for which the Minister is responsible. The National Centre is to promote an integrated and coordinated system of disaster management, with special emphasis on prevention and mitigation, by national, provincial and municipal organs of state, statutory functionaries, other role-players involved in disaster management and communities. The main objective of NDMC is to specialize and act as an advisory and consultative body on issues concerning disasters and disaster management, promote the recruitment, training and participation of volunteers in disaster management, disaster management capacity building, training and education to the extent that it may be appropriate.
2(d) Provincial Disaster Management Center (PDMC)PMDC’s of South Africa works under the NDMC to act against the disasters, they are the fourth level of disaster management organization. The nine PMDC’s of South Africa are as under Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu – Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North Cape, North West, and Western Cape. The PDMC’s are further divided into (MDMC’s) Municipal Disaster Management Center which works under PMDC’s to act fast in case of disasters.2(e) Rescue South Africa (Rescue SA)Rescue SA is the official South African Disaster Response Team made up of volunteer emergency response specialists from the South African public and private sector emergency and ancillary services. The multi-disciplinary taskforces include specialist rescuers, trauma doctors, paramedics, K9 search dog units, civil engineers, chemical and safety specialists for many response capabilities ranging from structural collapse to fire and water rescue. The objective is to continue the development of Urban Search and Rescue Technicians and form a USAR Response team for the SADC region, as well as maintain equipment, and expand training into the African Union. 3.
ORGANIZATIONAL CHARTS OF ORGANIZATIONS3(a) Co-ordination Hierarchy for DisastersThe DMA and the NDMF recognize that the objectives of disaster management cannot be met without sound intergovernmental cooperation and coordination. Thus, three broad groups of DMIS are established across the three spheres of government, namely ICDM, comprising the political leadership responsible for the three spheres of government; advisory forums, comprising the NDMAF and provincial and local advisory forum disaster management center, and the PDMC meetings, comprising the (NDMC) and provincial (PDMC) and municipal disaster management center (MDMC). Figure 2: The three broad groups of DMIS across the spheres of governance in South Africa established by The National Disaster Management Center (NDMC) of South Africa. Figure 3: The hierarchy of The National Disaster Management Center (NDMC) of South Africa. 4. PRIORITIES OF RESCUE OR RELIEF OPERATIONSThe policy framework for disaster risk management in South Africa 2005 outlines the objective of response and recovery in accordance to the disaster management Act of 2002. The ultimate priority is to ensure effective and appropriate disaster response and recovery. When a significant event or disaster occurs, or is threatening to occur, it is imperative that there should be no confusion as to roles and responsibilities and the procedures to be followed as shown in Figure 4.
The responsibility and subsequent priorities for relief response to known disaster events are allocated to a specific state entities. For example, flood response and recovery efforts would involve the combined efforts of many stakeholders, but the primary responsibility must be allocated to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry with the other stakeholders assuming supportive responsibilities. In the case of drought, the Department of Agriculture could be the primary agency, and in the case of extreme weather events, the National Disaster Management Center (NDMC) could assume primary responsibility. Figure 4: South Africa National Disaster Framework showing the disaster response and recovery outline in accordance to the disaster management Act of 2002.For example, during the South African-Mozambique flood of 2002, the priorities defined for rescue and relief operations were;§ Accessing people, both to rescue those trapped by floodwaters and to deliver badly needed relief assistance to affected populations.§ Establish a coordination centre for the relief effort in relation to the disaster§ Identify infrastructure (roads and bridges) which are affected and undertake emergency repair, so that access to people in need of humanitarian assistance could be improved and costs for the relief operation reduced.The operational plans and guidelines of the various response agencies that contribute to field operations will be considered when allocating responsibilities and priorities for response and recovery. In this regard, primary and secondary responsibilities will be allocated for each of the operational activities associated with disaster response, for example, evacuation, shelter, search and rescue, emergency medical services and fire-fighting.
Katarina Toll Velasquez, leader of the UNDAC team dispatched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said the priorities of assisting tens of thousands of flood victims, were to rescue people trapped, transport them to safe ground, and ensure their basic needs were provided for – food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, and the infrastructure. Then look ahead at what is the biggest fear, the outbreak of health epidemics.” 5.
ELABORATION OF MAIN DISASTERSTable-1 shows the return period of the main disasters and Table-2 illustrates the Average Annual Loss (AAL) by these hazards. Flood and earthquakes have caused a great annual loss to the country as described by Figure-5.1. Figure-5.
2 represents the recurrence of these disasters and flood has the highest frequency followed by storm. Figure-5.3. represents the percentage of deaths caused by these disasters and, as shown, flood has caused a highest number of deaths as compared to all other disasters.Table 1: Probable Maximum Loss (PML) – Main return period in years Hazard* 20 50 100 250 500 1000 1500 Earthquake 1,818 4,404 7,856 14,900 21,669 29,602 35,091 Wind 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Storm Surge 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Tsunami 0 0 0 1 17 47 74 Table 2: Average Annual Loss (AAL) by Hazard Hazard Absolute Million US$ Capital stock % GFCF% Socialexp % TotalReserves % GrossSavings % Earthquake 601.24 0.
047 0.887 1.046 1.340 1.110 Tsunami 0.19 0.000 0.000 0.
000 0.000 0.000 Flood 910.25 0.071 1.343 1.584 2.
029 1.680 Multi-Hazard 1,511.68 0.118 2.230 2.
631 3.369 2.791 Figure 5.
1: Hazard Contribution to Average Annual Loss. Figure 5.2: Frequency of Natural Disasters Figure 5.3: Mortality rate due to Disasters Figure 5.4: Economic loss rate due to Disasters. 6. PRIORITIES OF RESCUE OR RELIEF OPERATIONS OF SEVERE DISASTERS.
When a disaster strikes, provincial governments and municipal authorities will always be the first to respond. In major or severe disasters, the state (NDMC) may be required to assist. Figure 6 shows the different levels of directives for the implementation of disaster management policy.
However, the state (NDMC) may also be overwhelmed by severe disasters, and as a result, request federal assistance from international organizations such as INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) or the United Nations (UN). Under such circumstances, the operational plans and guidelines of the various International response agencies that contribute to field operations will be considered when allocating responsibilities and priorities for response and recovery and reinstallation operations. Figure 6: ‘Clause 1.2’ of the South Africa National Disaster Framework showing the Integrated Direction and Implementation of Policy based on different levels of impact at different levels of governance.For example; International disaster and relief organizations follow established International guidelines for relief operations such as giving a detailed report of all possible dangers of the operation, limitations and dispatching a team of multi-disciplinary taskforces including specialist rescuers, doctors, paramedics, safety specialists, and volunteers. However, foreign relief organizations require that Member States, must give a primary role to their domestic support during the domestic response, and further utilize their capacity for relief operations, for example, the role of the military range from traditional medical and engineering support to often-needed aviation capabilities. The International Humanitarian Community and UN agencies specify to call on all local resources and only intervene when there are no other viable alternatives and with due regard for the sovereignty and leading role of local authorities in the affected State, as per the Oslo guidelines 2006. 7.
RESPONSIBLE HEAD OF REGIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENTIf a regional disaster has happened, the responsible head of disaster management on scene is each head of Provincial Disaster Management Center (PDMC) in South Africa as shown above. Each province must establish and implement a framework for disaster management in the province:§ To specialize in issues concerning disasters and disaster management in the province; § To ensure an integrated and uniform approach to disaster management in the province by all provincial organs of state, provincial statutory functionaries;§ To be consistent with the provisions of this Act and the national disaster management framework.The PDMC coordinates a quarterly Provincial Disaster Management Advisory Forum where all relevant stakeholders (National and Provincial Departments; District Municipalities, in particular, District Disaster Management Centers; B-Municipalities; Non-Governmental Organizations; Special Operations Executives; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; National Defense Force; SAPS; Cities; South Africa Weather Services) gather to discuss pertinent matters relevant to disaster management.For example, the Disaster Management and Fire & Rescue Services Chief Directorate, is responsible for facilitating disaster management and coordinating fire and rescue services throughout the Western Cape Province, see Figure 7.
Divided into two directorates: disaster risk reduction and disaster operations, the Chief Directorate is accommodated within the Provincial Disaster Management Center (PDMC). Figure 7: Firefighters rescuing directed by PDMCThe Disaster Management and Fire & Rescue Services has three basic functions: § To establish and maintain institutional disaster management capacity and to implement effective risk reduction activities.§ To prepare for and respond to disasters and coordinate disaster recovery.
§ To coordinate the provincial fire brigade function and capacitate municipalities.In addition, each Provincial Disaster Management Center in South Africa can established its own rescue programs and plans, such as Fire Prevention Plan, Flood Contingency Plan and Snow Contingency Plan in Free State. For example, Free State reinforces and establishes response activities and assigns responsibilities to various response role players in Flood Contingency Plan, see table 3. Table 3. Roles of response organizations in Flood Contingency Plan in Free State Response Role Players Roles South African Weather Services Flood Warnings to Disaster Managers, homes and businesses.
Provincial, District and Local Disaster Management Centers Coordination (Mobilization of resources and volunteers) Dept. Human Settlements Emergency Housing/Shelter Dept. Police Roads and Transport – SAPS Secure, protect and preserve the scene; Organize and disseminate casualty information; Provisionally identify dead people ; Restore normality Dept. Police Roads and Transport – Traffic Management Traffic Control; Providing road barriers and signs Dept. Health – Emergency Medical Services Emergency Medical Services and emergency health advice Dept. Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Flood alleviation e.
g. clearing blocked drains; Minimize environmental dangers Dept.Water Affairs Monitor and regulate dam levels; Flood Plain Management Dept. Police Roads and TransportDept.of Health Fire Brigade Services Search and Rescue Dept. Police Roads and Transport Divers SANDF Air support helicopters Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Assess Stock and Crop losses; Provide Relief Funding Dept.
Police Roads and TransportDepartment of Public Works Assess damage to roads and infrastructure; Repair damaged roads and infrastructure, including buildings ESKOM Electricity Emergency Shutdown Dept. of Social Development Emergency feeding and clothing Red Cross Medical Assistance Dept. of the Premier Media liaison 8. RESPONSIBLE HEAD OF SEVERE DISASTER MANAGEMENTWhen a severe hazard happened, which caused larger impact to the nation, for example a huge flooding forced 250.
000 people to be evacuated, and then the responsible head is the head of National Disaster Management Center (NDMC) since it is prone to become a national disaster. There are five branch functions for the national disaster management center, each of which is specially focusing different parts in disaster management:§ Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity Building and Intervention: Develop and implement disaster management operational systems and coordinates disaster management capacity building and strategic research across all three spheres of government. § Legislation and Policy Management: Develop disaster management and fire services policies, legislative frameworks and guidelines derived from the Disaster Management Act (DMA), the National Disaster Management Framework (NDMF) and the Fire Brigade Services Act (FBSA). The Chief Directorate also provides support to stakeholders on the implementation of the policies and frameworks.
§ Integrated Provincial Disaster Management Support, Monitoring Evaluation Systems: Develop and implement an integrated system to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and performance of disaster management and fire services in the country. Section 21 of the DMA requires the establishment of mechanisms for monitoring, measuring and evaluation of disaster management plans, prevention efforts, mitigation, response and recovery by organs of state and other key role players involved in disaster management.§ Fire Services: Manage administration of the Fire Brigade Services Act, 1987 (Act No. 99 of 1987) (FBSA) is one of the key mandates of the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG). The FBSA is administered by the Directorate: Fire Services Coordination (D: FSC) and provides for the establishment, maintenance, employment, coordination and standardization of fire brigade services in the country. § Information Technology, Intelligence and Information Management Services: Guide the development of a comprehensive information management and communication system and establishes integrated communication links with all stakeholders.
The Head of the NDMC is primarily responsible for ensuring that disaster risk management plans are developed and implemented in a uniform and integrated manner. However, the Act places explicit responsibility on organs of state (including provincial organs of state and municipalities) and other institutional role players involved in disaster risk management for the development and implementation of disaster risk management plan. 9. CONCLUSIONThe disaster management of South Africa was presented to better understand International comparison and differences. South Africa is exposed to a wide range of weather hazards and faces increasing levels of disaster risk as well as human-induced risks and high vulnerability exists due to chronic living conditions. The highly frequent disasters are floods, storm surges, and extreme temperatures. Floods and earthquakes result in the highest economic loss and floods and storm surges result in the highest mortality.
Disaster risk management reform by the government and a wide range of stakeholders is reflected in the Disaster Management Act of South Africa, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002). The Act was established with the ultimate priority to ensure condition of disaster and risk management, policy for mitigation of risks, relief operations, and reconstruction. However, it also acknowledges the crucial need for uniformity in the approach taken by such a diversity of role players and partners.