Certificate handover to the City of Tshwane community emergency response teams (CERT) held in Mamelodi
A certificate handover ceremony for the City of Tshwane community emergency response teams (CERT) was on Friday, 27 May 2022, at Ikageng Community Hall in Mamelodi, Pretoria. Santam and Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa (FPASA) in partnership with the City of Tshwane undertook a CERT programme to build resilient communities. The programme included community members who live within formal and informal settlements. A total of 136 of CERT members were trained in this initiative.
The training included Fire Fighting and Evacuation, incorporating Workplace Fire Fighting and Grass Fire Fighting, Basic First Aider Response (five-day training programme), Hazmat Awareness and an overview of Disaster Management.
The programme director for the event was Deputy Chief Charles Mabaso, public information and liaison officer for the Tshwane ESD. The event was attended by local ward councillors, management and staff of the ESD and other city departments and the learners.
In her welcome and purpose of the event remarks, Acting Chief of Emergency Services, Ms Tanja Terblanche’s welcomed the partnership Santam has entered into with the City. “It is initiatives like this that make meaningful impact on building disaster risk resilient communities,” she said. She also praised the learners for making an effort to complete the training challenging circumstances posed by the COVID-19 pandemic where in certain instance learning had to cease temporarily because of restrictions.
Lloyd Phetlhu of FPASA said that the purpose of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is to provide the individuals who volunteer and complete the certification course with the basic skills they will need to respond to their community's immediate needs in the aftershock of a disaster, when emergency services are not immediately available.
Dr Moses Khangale gave an indication of how Santam is committed to giving back to the community by partnering with the City of Tshwane in ensuring communities receive valuable skills and knowledge to build disaster risk resilience. “Our initiatives to be involved in the safety of our communities are made possible, especially when there is capacity and willingness to enter into such partnerships as portrayed by the City of Tshwane, said Dr Khangale. He further stated that it is necessary to put mechanisms in place to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the programme and the impact it has on the community.
“You, ladies and gentlemen, are the learners that did well and passed the course. We are here today to congratulate you and to thank you for choosing one of the sacred duties a human being may undertake, to be a servant to their community. I say sacred because one must have a certain kind of love to serve a community. It is a love that goes beyond race and religion, it goes beyond class and level of education. It is truly an honour to be here, and I hope this will send a good message to other community members out there that only when we work together can we begin to see and drive a positive change in our lives,” Cllr Murunwa Makwarela, the Speaker of Council, City of Tshwane.
The Speaker congratulated the following organisations and people for ensuring that the programme became a success:
The Cllr Makwarela then proceeded to handover the certificates to jubilant learners who were available learners.
Divisional Chief Dr Robin Charles thanked everyone present and all those who worked tirelessly to make the event a success.
Background on the City of Tshwane CERT programme
The launch of the City of Tshwane CERT Programme took place on Monday, 10 May 2021, at the Mamelodi Council Chamber. This is after the City and Santam signed a Memorandum of Understanding to train 130 community members as part of the pilot project starting in region 6, with a future view to extend the project to all other regions of the City.
The Emergency Services Department, in conjunction with Santam and the Fire Protection Association of South Africa (appointed training provider), identified and agreed on the minimum training and introduction required by a CERT member to effectively respond to emergencies.
The following minimum training requirements were identified:
It was agreed that on completion of the training, all successful members will be recognised as a CERT member and issued with a certificate indicating the training completed.
Source: Charles Mabaso, deputy chief: public information and liaison officer, City of Tshwane Emergency Services