Disaster Symposium 2019 held in Cape Town
The Disaster Management Institute of Southern Africa’s (DMISA) Western Cape Branch together with the City of Cape Town Disaster Management Centre and Santam held a symposium focusing on disaster management at Sanlam’s head office in Bellville, Cape Town on 12 March 2019. The Disaster Symposium 2019 was themed ‘Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience’ and provided an integrated platform for various stakeholders to discuss not only recent disasters faced but also mitigation of future disasters with the emphasis on building resilience.
Dr Johan Minnie of DMISA set the scene with a brief overview of recent disasters followed by John Lomberg of Santam who reiterated the importance of businesses partnering with Government to strengthen service delivery and build resilience.
The keynote address delivered by Alderman JP Smith of the City of Cape Town highlighted that the City of Cape Town has worked hard to build disaster resilience especially in informal settlements in order to reduce the loss of life during incidents such as fires and floods. He added that the City of Cape Town made international news headlines because of the recent drought and was lauded for their achievement of the 50 percent reduction in water usage within a few months. This was only possible with the partnerships created between all stake holders including provincial and local Government, businesses and the community. “Cape Town is now a case study for water scarcity”, said Alderman Smith.
The symposium was divided into three sessions ie Tourism and investment facilitated by Julien Rumbelow from the Western Cape Environmental Affairs and Planning with speakers Helen Davies of Western Cape Government, Cornelis van der Waal of Wesgro and Sarah Rushmere of the City of Cape Town presenting.
The second session focussed on government and the business sector and was facilitated by of head of disaster medicine at Western Cape Department of Health, Dr Wayne Smith and presenters included Advocate Gavin Kode from the Western Cape Government, Gareth Morgan from the City of Cape Town and Dr Arthur Linke of the University of Stellenbosch.
The last session featured media and communication facilitated by Murray Williams and included speakers James-Brent Styan, spokesperson for MEC Anton Bredell, Priya Reddy of the City of Cape Town and Andrew Borraine of the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP).
We will review this symposium in more detail in our publication, Disaster Management Journal, which is the official journal for DMISA.
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