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2023-01-25 at 16:18 #390649Nat QuinnKeymaster
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has declared a provincial state of disaster in Gauteng.
In a gazetted notice on Wednesday (25 January), the department said the state of disaster in the province is in effect from 23 January and will continue until such time as authorities deem the disaster over – or the regulated period lapses.
The declaration of a provincial state of disaster follows severe flooding that took place in the City of Joburg and the greater Johannesburg region in the latter parts of December 2022.
Torrential rain, hail storms and flooding resulted in the loss of life, damage to property, infrastructure and the environment, and left municipalities like the City of Joburg struggling to deal with the fallout.
Damage from the floods has been exacerbated in recent weeks by ongoing load shedding – though this has not been folded into the official declaration. Eskom granted the City of Joburg a three-day reprieve from load shedding following the floods, but the city has since continued to struggle along with the rest of the country in dealing with the blackouts.
The power crisis has left the city to deal with other disasters.
“After having deliberated with various organs of state and the Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management Centre, and after assessing the magnitude and severity of the impact of the flooding incidents… and after having considered the information and recommendations received from the Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management Centre, I hereby give notice that on 23 January 2023, I classified this occurrence as a provincial disaster,” said the head of the national disaster management centre, Elias Sithole.
Through the classification of this occurrence as a provincial disaster, the primary responsibility to coordinate and manage the disaster, in terms of existing legislation and contingency arrangements, is designated to the provincial executive.
Other organs of state have been called to further strengthen support to existing structures to implement contingency arrangements and ensure that measures are put in place to enable the Gauteng Province to effectively deal with the effects of the disaster.
All affected organs of state must prepare and submit reports, as required by the National Disaster Management Centre as prescribed in the Disaster Management Act.
Through the declaration of a Local State of Disaster, the provincial government will be able to, where necessary, access resources from the provincial and national spheres of government, and accelerate supply chain management processes.
According to Cogta, the state of disaster will remain in effect until:
- The provincial executive dealt with the provincial disaster in terms of existing legislation and contingency arrangements without declaring a provincial state of disaster in terms of section 41(1);
- The classification is revoked by the Head: National Disaster Management Centre when the occurrence can no longer be regarded as a disaster in terms of the Act upon reassessment by the NDMC;
- The provincial executive dealt with the provincial disaster in terms of existing legislation and contingency arrangements as augmented by regulations and/ or directions following the declaration of a provincial state of a disaster in terms of section 41(2);
- The classification of a provincial disaster is automatically revoked when the provincial state of disaster is terminated or lapses in terms of section 41(5) of the Act.
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