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The district municipality is a government institution committed to working with citizens and groups within the community to find sustainable ways of meeting their social, economic and material needs and improving the quality of their lives.
Local Governments are clearly one of the nation’s fundamental democratic institutions. Inclusive and effective democratic processes can most readily be achieved at the local level through participatory, transparent, management of public resources and joint community development projects. In South Africa, local governments are responsible for stimulating local economic development and for providing people with basic services. The basic services include water, electricity, sanitation, affordable housing and basic health care. In terms of the Constitution of Republic of South Africa, 1996 and various acts flowing from it, the District Municipality is required to structure and manage its administration and budgeting and planning processes to give priority to the basic needs of the community, to promote the social and economic development of the community and to participate in national and provincial development programmes. The municipality to this end must provide vision and leadership for all those who have a role to play in the development of the municipality.
“Every municipality must have a disaster management plan as part of its Integrated Development Plan (IDP). This plan must set up the structure and mechanisms for dealing with disasters and it must anticipate future disasters."
The district disaster management plan was first prepared in 2006 with its main purpose to implement appropriate disaster risk reduction measures to reduce the vulnerability of communities and infrastructure at risk. The plan was reviewed in 2012 and adopted by Council in January 2013.
Disaster risk management is a collaborative process that involves all spheres of government, as well as NGOs, the private sector, a wide range of capacity-building partners and communities.
It also requires effective preparation for, and response to a diverse range of natural and other threats. The review process included all four local municipalities namely, Sol Plaatje, Dikgatlong, Magareng and Phokwane. Indigenous knowledge and community participation were used to identify risk and hazards within the respective areas.
The approach followed for the review of the disaster management plan was community-based. The team responsible for rolling out the proces spent three days in each local municipality to gather information for the review of the plan. One day was utilised to have meetings with the Mayors, Speakers, Municipal Managers and Senior Managers of each local municipality.