The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA),
honourable Des Van Rooyen will visit Knysna Area tomorrow (14 June 2017) which
was affected by the deadly inferno that raged for a number of days.
The Minister will receive a briefing together with the Western Cape Provincial
government Exco in Knysna. After the briefing, Minister van Rooyen will also visit
areas affected by the fires to assess the damages.
Following the site visits, members of the media are invited to engage with Minister
van Rooyen at the Staging Area in Knysna:
- Date: 14 June 2017
- Time: 12h00
- Venue: Staging Area in Knysna
The Minister had earlier visited the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management
Centre today (13 June 2017). The Minister was briefed by the team about the events
that unfolded since 07 June 2017 when the storm made landfall.
The Minister appreciated the work that was thus far done by the team since the
beginning of the extreme weather conditions and the fires. The fires in Knysna were
fuelled by storms which are regarded as being the strongest in 150 years. Minister
appreciated the integrated way in which various sectors joined hands to assist those
that were in distress. “Your actions confirms that when South Africans come
together, nothing is impossible”, said Minister.
Thus farm Knysna saw the deployment of the largest firefighting resources and
personnel in a single fire incident. To this effect, Minister van Rooyen thanked all
stakeholders across the country who contributed in any way towards assisting the
situation and the people who were affected. Some community members lost
property, infrastructure was also damaged and 12 lives were also lost (5 through
the storms and 7 through the fire).
The mopping up operations have begun and Minister van Rooyen has deployed
2000 Community Works Programme (CWP) participants to assist. Currently, the
CWP participants are currently working throughout the province in all the affected
areas assisting Municipalities. In addition, the Municipal Infrastructure Support
Agency (MISA) has been working with the National Disaster Management Centre
(NDMC) as part of the drought relief project in the area. This technical teams from
MISA will continue to do assessments across the area.
Cell: 083 378 9495