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Agri SA responds to the national state of disaster declaration

Agri SA acknowledges the announcement by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to declare a national state of disaster in South Africa. The rationale behind this national disaster declaration remains unclear due to good rains and good production prospects in most provinces.

In the event of such a declaration, government has to make available all resources to alleviate the plight of all those suffering as a result of this disaster. In practice it means implementing the National Disaster Management Plan and making available stores, equipment, vehicles, facilities and personnel to execute the plan effectively and efficiently, specifically in provinces where there is persistent drought for the past four to five years.

An integrated and uniform approach to disaster management in all provinces by all provincial organs of state, provincial statutory functionaries, non-governmental organisations and agricultural structures involved in disaster management in these provinces and by the private sector, is now of critical importance.

In view of the aforementioned, Agri SA appeals to the Minister to meet urgently with all the stakeholders to ascertain the following:

• Provinces that are most severely affected by the drought;
• Roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder;
• Areas of collaboration;
• Possible risks that might undermine relief efforts and strategies to mitigate it;
• Identify and prioritize the areas that require immediate assistance;
• Activate the action plan; and
• Monitor and asses the cost effectiveness and impact of relief efforts.

The reprioritization of unutilized funds in various departments presents an opportunity that must be thoroughly utilized before the end of the financial year in support of this disaster declaration.

Agri SA commits its expertise and network to assist with governments’ efforts to successfully implement all contingency and emergency arrangements in drought-stricken areas.

Andrea Campher
Agri SA, Disaster Risk Manager
(C) 079 8872 174

Christo van der Rheede
Agri SA, Deputy Executive Director
(C) 083 380 3492