Develop a framework on capacity building of local government
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) places a Legal obligation on the government of South Africa to ensure the health (Personal and Environmental) and safety of its citizens. In terms of section 41 (1) (b) of the Constitution, all spheres of government are required to "secure the wellbeing of the people of the Republic''. Section 152 (1) (d) also requires local government "to promote a safe and healthy environment". In light of the above, and the established understanding of disaster management, a primary responsibility for disaster management in South Africa rests with government.
According to Part A, Schedule 4 of the Constitution, disaster management is a functional area of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence. This means that national and provincial governments have a legal imperative to ensure that disaster management is implemented according to legislative requirements (i.e. the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996) and Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002). The Disaster Management Amendment Act, 2015 (Act No. 16 of 20015) further requires the local government to also deal with disaster management responsibilities.
In line with the results obtained through the Back-to-Basics program, a flagship program of COGTA which is/was undertaken since 2014 to improve functionality of municipalities and restore the confidence of communities in the local government system, the department through the NDMC, entered into a partnership with SALGA to develop a disaster management capacity building programme, for local government. This partnership is forged through a Cooperate Agreement between the two parties and will also give effect to and address the following specific issues as identified during the initial assessment done through the Back-to-Basics flagship program:
- Institutional capacity;
- Relevant skills to deal with the disaster management function;
- Political buy-in;
- Infrastructure; and
- Financial resources.
The overall aim of the project is to ensure full understanding and application of disaster management in local government to facilitate well-informed developmental decisions that impact positively on sustainable development. Through the partnership, a framework to inform the development of the said capacity building (training) was developed. Discussions on the implementation of the framework are ongoing between the two parties.