RESOLUTIONS OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICA CONFERENCE ON DISASTER RISK REDUCTION 2007
We, delegates, to the Disaster Management Institute of Southern Africa Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2007, have gathered from 17 to 18 October 2007 at Mentorskraal, Jeffrey’s Bay.
Noting the continued and increasing death and destruction caused by natural and human-induced disaster hazards in Southern Africa and elsewhere on our continent and in the world, and believing that this Institute should lead the way in encouraging and supporting the disaster reduction agenda in Southern Africa,,,,
We wish to express our sincere condolences and sympathy to all who have been negatively impacted on by disasters and major incidents which have caused death, injury and destruction, and our appreciation to the Disaster Management Institute of Southern Africa for arranging another successful conference aimed at information transfer on disaster reduction initiatives through the management of disaster risk, prevention and preparedness activities based on sustainable development principles.
We commend the efforts of all agencies, government, provincial, municipal, non-governmental agencies and stakeholders who, through constant effort and persistence, are making positive inputs into reducing disaster risk, and
We congratulate all stakeholders who have worked towards increasing disaster management capacity and reducing disaster risk.
At this conference we the delegates expressed the opinion that,
1. Continued pressure should be brought to bear on National, Provincial and Municipal Government structures with a view to the function of disaster management, as required by legislation, being elevated to the correct placement – not within a line function department – within their hierarchical structure.
2. All government agencies should embrace co-operative governance in order to ensure effective implementation of Disaster Management legislation through the application of “best practice” principles from the national and international community.
3. SALGA and the National, Provincial and Municipal Governments should speed up the provision of adequate funding for Disaster Management in order to better provide for the needs of the South African community.
4. Provinces and municipalities should align their growth and development strategies as well as Integrated Development Plans to Disaster Management principles (prevention and mitigation, risk reduction, preparedness and relief) in order to achieve sustainable development by linking finances to these initiatives for a better life for all.
5. All places of learning and especially places of higher education should integrate disaster management into course materials across all subject matter and ensure that they have educators with relevant training presenting the disaster management subject.
6. All departments of municipal, provincial and national government should work together to formulate an Early Warning Communications strategy that would result in a comprehensive and integrated solution for early warning.
7. The SA National Disaster Management Centre should develop and implement a communications network, which will alert Communities at risk of approaching hazards that may lead to disasters.
8. The SA National Minister of Education should strengthen disaster risk reduction in the school curriculum to develop future adults who are able to identify hazardous situations within their own community and ways of reducing the disaster risk through proper application of sustainable developmental practices.
9. The SA National Minister for Provincial and Local government should fast track the development of standards for the following:
a. Qualifications required for the appointment of Disaster Management officials at the various spheres of government,
b. Standards for disaster reduction e.g. standardized technology, systems and processes,
c. Policies for the implementation of disaster risk reduction initiatives, and
d. Guidelines for implementation of all relevant legislation.
10. The SA Government should finalise the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Bill in order to ensure that all events under this legislation are undertaken within a safe framework, which rolls over to the FIFA 2010 World Cup.
11. All relevant stakeholders should place the disaster management function at the correct senior management level within their organisation and especially urge municipalities to conform with section 45(2)(b) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 and section 1.2.1 of the National Disaster Management Framework, 2005, by placing the function closest to the highest level of decision making in the municipality – namely in the office of the Executive Mayor or Mayor as the case may be; and with the Head of the Centre taking administrative instructions from the Municipal Manager (the Disaster Management Act, Section 44(3)(c)).
We the delegates request the Disaster Management Institute of Southern Africa to pursue these issues with the relevant decision-makers in Southern Africa and to represent the opinions of this gathering with fervour and commitment.
In turn, we undertake to support disaster management within our different responsibilities and to ensure that those working in disaster management in Southern Africa receive all the assistance necessary to create a resilient society.