King Cetshwayo District focus on disaster management

Listening to presentations were Chief Whip Cllr Thamsanqa Gcabashe, Municipal Manager Mandla Nkosi and Kwazi Shandu

COMMUNITIES must be empowered with the skills and expertise needed to deal with fire disasters when they occur, especially in rural areas.

This can only be achieved through the training of councillors who are in close contact with the people on the ground.

This is the opinion of King Cetshwayo District Municipality Chief Whip Thamsanqa Gcabashe.

He spoke to the Zululand Observer after a two-day disaster management workshop held at the Imbizo Hall in Empangeni last week.

The workshop was organised by the King Cetshwayo District Municipality in conjunction with COGTA’s provincial Disaster Management Committee.

District, local municipality councillors, ward committee members and relevant stakeholders attended and were equipped on how to prevent potential disasters in their communities.

Local municipalities also presented their five-year disaster management plans to councillors.

Gcabashe said the district was responsible for disaster management of all local municipalities unable to perform the function on their own.

‘About 10 years ago we established a disaster and call centre and about four years ago the local municipalities took over the firefighting function.

‘We donated all the equipment we were using to them, such as vehicles, jaws of life and fire equipment.

‘When disasters strike we provide support and relief to Mthonjaneni, Nkandla and uMfolozi municipalities. Other municipalities such as uMlalazi and uMhlathuze have their own disaster units with their own call centres, but we are available to assist whenever needed.

‘In addition to this workshop we also train volunteers in local municipalities and conduct door-to-door campaigns in rural areas to spread awareness of fire prevention,’ Gcabashe said.


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