Media Statements

Minister Des van Rooyen to Visit Knysna

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.


Legadima Leso

CoGTA Communications

Cell: 083 378 9495