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Thabo Mofutsanyana District municipality joins programme to address flood risks

16 May 2018Santam
Thoko Tshabalala - MMC Local Economic Development
Jane Radebe - MMC Community Services
Ntaoleng Mofokeng - MMC Disaster Management
Emily Khuzwayo - SALGA Free State
John Lomberg – Head of Stakeholder Relations and CSI
Takatso Lebenya - Municipal Manager
Mr Lesley Khiba - COGTA Free State

Thoko Tshabalala - MMC Local Economic Development Jane Radebe - MMC Community Services Ntaoleng Mofokeng - MMC Disaster Management Emily Khuzwayo - SALGA Free State John Lomberg – Head of Stakeholder Relations and CSI Takatso Lebenya - Municipal Manager Mr Lesley Khiba - COGTA Free State

he Thabo Mofutsanyana District municipality in the Free State is the fourth district municipality in the country to be added to a ground-breaking initiative led by South Africa’s largest short-term insurer, Santam, to capacitate municipalities to deal with flood and fire risks. A MoU was signed between the two parties this week on Tuesday, 15 May.

Administered by Santam’s Emthunzini Community Trust, the Partnership for Risk and Resilience (P4RR) is an initiative developed to mitigate against systematic risks and to strengthen the capacity of local municipalities. Established in 2012, P4RR empowers vulnerable and at-risk communities to address ‘on the ground’ insurable risks relating to fires and floods. Santam has partnered with the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in rolling out the P4RR initiative. 

By 2020, P4RR will support 53 municipalities with developing technical expertise to plan for and manage against climatic risks. One of the goals of the P4RR initiative is to positively impact the lives of over five million South Africans. P4RR continues to bring on various partners to support the programme, with Sasria – a state-own entity offering unique insurance – as the most recent organisation to join the partnership.

To date, recipient district municipalities of the P4RR programme have included Ehlanzeni (Mpumalanga), Sarah Baartman (Eastern Cape) and Sedibeng (Gauteng). A total of 32 local municipalities across South Africa have been impacted to date. Municipalities have been selected based on inputs from national government as part of a request to expand and accelerate the P4RR programme. 

Addressing flood risks

John Lomberg, head: Stakeholder Relations and CSI, says based on an analysis of Santam’s risk exposure, the Thabo Mofutsanyana District municipality is one of the areas of high flood-risk exposure for defined waterways. “We had our first engagement with the municipal leadership towards the end of November 2017. They’ve expressed intent to form the partnership with us and we concluded our first workshop in February this year. We are pleased to have the signed MoU to enable us to continue our work in the municipality.” 

The P4RR programme Santam will provide other services to the Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality including:

  • Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) improvements.
  • Sharing of disaster risk management knowledge, and a community risk assessment.
  • The creation of a coalition of NGOs to support disaster relief and efficient aid distribution. 

Ultimately, the goal of the programme is to reduce the loss of life and property resulting from fire or floods. Apart from helping to improve inter-governmental relations relating to disaster risk management, Santam’s overall role in P4RR is to reduce systemic risks and to help communities to better manage these risks. 

“There is a definite need for more efforts to reduce risk in the community. We commend Santam for the impact they have made across a host of other district municipalities to date, and we look forward to our partnership in this ground-breaking project,” says Takatso Lebenya, Municipal Manager of Thabo Mofutsanyana District. 

Santam’s assistance with important service delivery elements such as fire-fighting equipment and disaster risk management is part of a wide spectrum of support Santam provides to local governments and communities. Investing in communities helps them to be more resilient and self-sufficient, and is part of Santam’s approach to end-to-end risk management. 

Santam places enormous importance on their accountability to fulfil the role of a responsible corporate citizen through forging partnerships, building capacity, and creating sustainable solutions and practices, to enhance the resilience of communities. “Through the partnership, we have been instrumental in enabling selected municipalities to respond to emergency and disaster risk management events. Disaster risk impacts all of us, and as the insurance sector we have a responsibility to take centre stage as risk reduction partner.” 

“We have greatly improved the provision of disaster management services across several municipalities, and look forward to impacting the lives of millions of people between now and 2020. Our collaboration with the municipalities has resulted in several contributions in order to help mitigate ‘on the ground’ insurable risks.” 

“We remain committed to work with our stakeholders and to enhance risk-based decision-making that builds community resilience along our value chain,” John concludes.

 

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