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​Cash will be available to deal with any disaster that hits Joburg, including natural events and manmade emergencies, including fires and flooding.
ONE of life’s early lessons is that accidents happen and we are told that the trick is to be prepared for all eventualities; in line with this strategy, the Johannesburg emergency management services (EMS) has established a disaster fund.

Families lost property during floods in SowetoHundreds of families lost property during floods in Soweto“A mayoral resolution was passed for establishment of the fund in 2011,” explains the EMS spokesperson, Nana Radebe. “The Disaster Management Act obliges all spheres of government to establish a disaster relief fund for utilisation during rehabilitation in the event of a declared disaster.”

All manner of accidents and emergencies will be covered by the fund. Radebe says natural and human-caused disasters will be covered, including fires and flooding.

Funds to cover disasters will come from the budget; however, this money may be supplemented in emergencies. “According to the Act, municipalities are required to establish the fund, therefore the funding comes from the City’s budget. The Act requires metropolitan municipalities to allocate a threshold percentage of one percent from the revenue budget,” she explains.

“In the event of declared disasters, businesses – including the general public – may financially contribute towards the fund. The City of Johannesburg’s finance department is responsible for all donations.”

Joburg’s emergency management services is one of the biggest in Africa, and fields about 250 000 calls a year. It is made up of five directorates: operations; disaster management and pier (public information, education and relations); proactive services and fire safety; corporate services and academy; and management support.

Operations covers the response to incidents such as fire, rescue, including water rescue, medical and hazardous material disasters. The control and call centres fall under the operations department.

Disaster management and pier takes care of disaster planning and mitigation, ensuring that disasters are anticipated and dealt with when they happen. The disaster fund will fall under the mandate of this directorate, as it runs the disaster management centre according to the Disaster Management Act.

Proactive services and fire safety focuses on preventing fires by making sure that buildings and events comply with fire safety laws.

The corporate services and academy directorate provides support through training, human resources, finance, fleet management and administrative services, among other things.

Management support deals with communications and marketing, quality assurance and research, transformation and employment equity and special projects.

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