Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape drought declared a national disaster

horizon 1979532 640The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) has declared the ongoing drought in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape Provinces a National Disaster

This means that, in terms of the National Disaster Management Act of 2002 (DMA), the National Executive need to deal with the national disaster in terms of existing legislation and contingency arrangements.

The declaration of a National Disaster entails that the minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, in consultation with other cabinet ministers, make regulations and authorise the issuing of directions concerning, amongst other things:

· The release of any available resources of the national government

· Steps to alleviate, contain and minimise the effects of the disaster

· Steps that may be necessary to prevent an escalation of the disaster

· The facilitation of response and post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation

The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), which advises the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, has undertaken to bring together a group of stakeholders, including Agri SA, to deal with the devastating effects which the drought has had on the agricultural sector, and to come up with a smart drought disaster management plan.

Agri SA, which has been calling for a national disaster declaration since 2016, presented its Smart Disaster Aid Plan at its National Congress held in October 2017. It is hoped that the recommendations contained therein and the experience within the organisation will be called upon to assist the NDMC in dealing with the current national disaster.

Dan Kriek, president of Agri SA, said that the organisation will provide full support to the national government during the current drought, particularly in the midst of the present turbulent political times.

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