A Strategic Review – Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs


The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (DCoG), through the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), is leading a comprehensive review of South Africa’s Disaster Management System in the 2024/25 financial year. This initiative aims to strengthen the existing framework for integrated and coordinated disaster management. The review focuses on all phases of disaster management: prevention or reduction of risks, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

The urgency of this review is driven by the growing threat of climate change to South Africa’s well-being. Rising temperatures and changing weather patterns are causing more frequent and severe droughts, floods, wildfires, and extreme weather events. These pose significant challenges that necessitate proactive measures to safeguard lives and livelihoods.

The NDMC’s focus on disaster preparedness goes beyond mere response. This review is critical to building a robust disaster mitigation and response system. It serves as a shield against unforeseen events and paves the way for a more resilient future for South African citizens.

Central to the review is the District Development Model (DDM). This model clarifies the roles and responsibilities of various disaster management structures at national, provincial, and municipal levels. It fosters a collaborative approach across the entire disaster management chain, leading to improved efficiency and effectiveness.

The DDM positions the NDMC at the centre of the national disaster management framework, emphasizing the importance of coordinated efforts among various entities. Similarly, Provincial Disaster Management Centres (PDMCs) play a central role at the provincial level, ensuring well-coordinated disaster risk management efforts. This model streamlines interaction between national and provincial structures, critical for effective disaster response.

Municipal Disaster Management Centres (MDMCs) are vital at the local level. The DDM ensures that local disaster management efforts integrate into the broader national framework. This fosters a comprehensive and cohesive national disaster management system.

The review involves a scholarly analysis of the current system, comparing it to international best practices. This aims to enhance institutional capacity and mainstream disaster management across government departments. By investing in and actively participating in preparedness exercises, the government can empower South African communities to be safer, better equipped, and more resilient in future challenges.

The anticipated Cabinet approval of the revised Disaster Management System signifies a significant step forward in strengthening South Africa’s disaster management capabilities. This review underscores the government’s commitment to protecting lives and livelihoods in the face of climate change, paving the way for a more resilient and prepared nation.



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