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Santam makes R840 000 donation to capacitate Capricorn District Municipality

16 February 2022 Santam

Santam, South Africa’s largest general insurer, has partnered with Capricorn District Municipality to provide critical disaster management resources and training as part of its ongoing Partnerships for Risk and Resilience (P4RR) initiative.

On 11 February 2022, the insurer handed-over fire-fighting equipment, fire-fighting and disaster management training, and personnel protective clothing, worth R840 000, to Capricorn Municipality in Limpopo Province.

Through the Partnerships for Risk and Resilience initiative, Santam has partnered with at least 9 district municipalities, covering 63 local municipalities to date. Simon Morilly at Santam, says this forms part of the group’s ongoing efforts to capacitate the country’s most vulnerable communities to withstand unexpected disasters – especially drought, fire and floods. “We designed the P4RR Programme 12 years ago to bolster resilience and nurture capable municipalities that can proactively mitigate risk. Climate change means disaster risks are rising. The public sector cannot shoulder the responsibility of disaster management and relief efforts alone. The private sector has a pivotal role to play.

“We believe a partnership model between the public and private sectors is the best and most sustainable way to protect our people from the devastating big events that could cause a significant loss of life and livelihoods. That’s why we partner with the government and municipalities to strengthen capacity to identify and reduce systemic risks.”

Santam has seen a steady increase in extreme weather events and disasters over the last five years. Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal both experienced extremely dry conditions from June to November last year. The ‘Table Mountain’ fire swept through the city of Cape Town in April 2021. And deadly floods devastated the Eastern Cape in early 2022.

Cllr Mamedupi Teffo, Executive Mayor of Capricorn District Municipality, says ‘’Our district risk profile is characterised by frequent, common occurrence of severe storms, strong damaging winds, flash floods, veld and structural fire, and motor vehicle accidents. We may have 4-to-5 fire stations across the district to respond to any emergency, but whenever disaster occurs, it tests our strength for preparedness, response, mitigation, recovery and rehabilitation. We are therefore making a commitment through this partnership that we are signing today to take our fire-fighting and disaster management capacity to stronger heights and respond better to next disasters’’. Teffo, says the partnership with Santam is a sign of a collective dedication to hold hands and make positive strides in reducing disaster risks. Disasters have a huge impact on infrastructure and human lives and livelihoods and therefore it is important to complement each other’s work and make a difference.

Simon Morilly concludes, “In each municipality, we assess the unique risks and requirements. For example, in the lead up to fire season in the Western Cape, we worked with fire services in the West Coast, Cape Winelands and Overberg to prepare for the inevitable increase in demand on fire service resources. With Capricorn Municipality, our focus is also on fire, given the ongoing dry conditions in the area and correlating increased fire risk. Over the next three years, we will work with the Capricorn District Municipality to capacitate firefighting and disaster management teams through intensive training and disaster risk mitigation efforts, in addition to our resource donations.”

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