National disaster declared in South Africa

 ·13 Jun 2024

The provincial and local states of disaster declared in KwaZulu Natal and the Free State earlier this month have been escalated to a national state of disaster – with the Eastern Cape now joined.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs gazetted the notice this week.

Head of the National Disaster Management Centre, Bongani Sithole, declared the national disaster in relation to the impact of severe weather conditions in the country.

The severity of weather resulted in disruptive rains, floods, strong winds and snow falls in May and June, causing significant damage in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and the Free State.

This has resulted in the loss of life, damage to property, infrastructure and the environment, as well as the disruption of basic services.

“I hereby give notice that on 5 June 2024, (we have classified) the impact and potential impact of severe weather in the mentioned provinces as a National Disaster,” Sithole said.

The declaration of a national disaster, as was the case during previous storms and most notably the COVID-19 pandemic, allows various provincial and national structures to work together to make contingency arrangements and more easily implement measures to deal with the situation.

Sithole said that the declaration would be revoked once the national executive has dealt with the disaster and it can no longer be regarded as a disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act.

The classification would also automatically be revoked when the disaster lapses.

Read: State of disaster declared in two provinces in South Africa

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter