New building for Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management Centre launched
The Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in partnership with the Department of Infrastructure Development, launched the new Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) building situated in Midrand on 25 April 2019. MEC for the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) Jacob Mamabolo handed the keys over to MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Uhuru Moiloa.
Head of the PDMC, Dr Elias Sithole, opened the event saying, “Disaster management is everybody’s business and that the focus of disaster management is to be proactive and reactive. Dr Sithole mentioned recent disasters faced in the province and said that while the new building was being launched, many people were facing floods in Mozambique and Malawi.
Thandeka Mbassa, head of department for Gauteng CoGTA, welcomed the VIPs and expressed her appreciation for the attendance of the MECs, traditional leaders, SAPS representatives and colleague from various provinces.
MEC Jacob Mamabolo said that the DID bought the building on behalf of COGTA in 2016 and modernised it, using the latest green technology to make it adaptable to different weather. He added that R11 million has been spent to date.
CoGTA MEC Uhuru Moiloa said that the recent disasters in Gauteng exposed the provinces weaknesses and that all municipalities should budget to build resilient communities. He added that it is of the urmost importance that budgets must include service and maintenance of infrastructure. “Today we are launching not only a building but a legacy. A legacy born out of necessity, a vision and the commitment created by the current administration of the province. The centre is designed to enable the province to fulfil its legislative mandate and support disaster management stakeholders, including municipalities,” said MEC Moiloa.
The brand new, fully equipped Gauteng Disaster Management Centre has the capacity to fulfil the ongoing and imperative responsibilities of the PDMC across the province and assist National Disaster Management Centre in time of complex emergencies. The building is designed to accommodate over 80 people with facilities including a joint operations centre, communications centre, media briefing facilities and work spaces. The modern facility will house a HydroNET system from the South African Weather Services, which enables live access and monitoring of weather information including access to weather stations, rain maps, the weather forecast, and the seasonal forecast. The building is equipped with a backup generator and is fitted with motion detecting LED lights.
The previous PDMC was decommissioned in 2012. There was no physical Disaster Management Centre in the province, however, the function was operating, hence the need to establish one.
Dr Sithole thanked Lindokuhle Ngubane for managing the project.