The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr Des van Rooyen in partnership with the MEC responsible for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KZN Province, Ms Nomusa Dube-Ncube and the Mayor of eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, Councillor Zandile Gumede will lead the 2017 IDDR commemoration which South Africa will convene on 13 October 2017 in Durban, Holiday Inn Marine Parade Hotel.
The commemoration will be attended by representatives of the three spheres of government across the country and other stakeholders including the delegation from the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction who will have the opportunity to convey the United Nations message on the event.
This commemoration is part of the programme that is in line with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996, section 23) which mandates government to ensure people live in a safer environment not harmful to their health or well-being.
South Africa as a signatory to the UNISDR, will in line with resolution 64 of 21 December 2009, commemorate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) under the theme: – “Reducing Exposure, Reducing Displacement – Home Safe Home”.
This year’s target is focused on prevention, protection and reducing the number of people affected by disasters. It concerns the safety of all but particularly those at greater risk of death, injury, ill-health, loss of livelihood, displacement and lack of access to basic services from disaster events including women and children, people living with disabilities, and older persons. These groups have varying degrees of exposure to disaster events and also need to be included in disaster risk management and reduction planning.
The International Day’s rallying cry implies all this but focuses on the primary importance of the family home as a sanctuary and safe refuge in times of disaster with a particular focus on preventing displacement. “Home Safe Home” is the slogan for International Day for Disaster Reduction displacements by disasters were recorded by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).
The Sendai Seven Campaign is an opportunity for governments, UN agencies and all stakeholders including the private sector, science and technology partners, community groups, civil society organisations, international organisations, to promote and advertise best practice at international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses.
The 2017 commemoration comes at an opportune time when disasters continue to wreak havoc across the globe, and South Africa is not immune to this. These recent events in South Africa like veldfires, storms, floods resulted in disasters. “These and many disasters across the globe, are a reminder of the work that still lies ahead for all stakeholders to complete”, said Minister van Rooyen.
As a signatory to the UNISDR, South Africa will ensure the implementation of a ten-point checklist dubbed “Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient” which, serve as a guiding tool for local governments to undertake actions to reduce risks. These Ten Essentials are important and interdependent for sustainable development, and place an emphasis on; institutional & administrative arrangements, financing, risk assessment, infrastructure, schools & hospitals, planning, training & awareness, the environment, preparedness and reconstruction.
Minister van Rooyen called on all sectors to join hands to commemorate the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2017 as well as to mainstream disaster risk reduction in their ongoing service delivery programmes. He emphasised that Disaster Risk reduction is everybody’s business thereby not a challenge of one individual or group, but everyone has the responsibility to ensure that we ensure save and resilient communities.
The commemoration will also afford all stakeholders an opportunity to reflect on the work done thus far and also acknowledge and celebrate the many strides we have made to strengthen efforts in building safer cities and towns in a quest for sustainable service delivery and development.
CoGTA Head of Communication
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Issued by the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA)