The Western Cape Disaster Management teams that assisted the province of KwaZulu-Natal when it faced the floods in April and May have been honoured by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, MEC Sipho Hlomuka, during a special visit to the Western Cape during a benchmark and appreciation visit.
The visit is part of efforts by the department to honour and appreciate the brave men and women that made up the advanced search and rescue teams and engineers that were deployed by the western cape government to assist the province when it faced the biggest natural disaster in the countries history.
The appreciation ceremony took place at the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre, in Cape Town, where the MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Mr Anthon Bredell together with the MEC Hlomuka president over it.
In his remarks, MEC Bredell emphasised his province’s commitment to working closely with KZN on areas of mutual interest when it comes to disaster risk mitigation. “As coastal provinces, we face unique challenges, which require us to closely work together through agreements that will assist us to find practical solutions to the challenges that we face in our respective provinces. Through these partnerships we will be able to put our economies on better footing” said MEC Bredell.
“As the provincial government in KZN, we felt it appropriate that we come to this province to officially express our gratitude for the support that was given to our province during a very difficult period which led to the loss of 456 lives with 82 people still missing. We strongly believe that had it not been for the interventions and additional support we got from our sister provinces, the situation could have been worse. The intervention brought about by the advanced search and rescue teams from the Western Cape saved many lives and ensured that recoveries can be done” said MEC Hlomuka.
During the appreciation ceremony, 13 search and rescue members and 1 engineer were given certificates of appreciation in honour of their role in assisting the province of KZN during the floods.
The visit also saw officials from both provinces share best practices on disaster management.