Role of science, technology critical in disaster mitigation

Thursday, March 30, 2023

As government continues to mobilise all available resources to assist Port St Johns communities to recover from the extensive damage caused by recent flooding in the area, Cabinet says the role of science, technology and innovation in disaster mitigation has become more critical.

“With the deepening impact of climate change, the role of science, technology and innovation in disaster mitigation, response and in some instances, prevention, has become more critical,” Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said on Thursday.

Briefing the media on the outcomes of a Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Minister Ntshavheni said the National Disaster Management Centre is co-ordinating government’s response working with the Eastern Cape and the OR Tambo district disaster management centres to limit the negative impact of the floods on communities. 

“Cabinet noted the use of science in the response and mitigation efforts through work being undertaken by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), together with the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) and the South African National Weather Service,” the Minister said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Port St Johns on 28 March 2023 to assess the response of government and civil society to the situation, where he reassured the communities of government’s support.

The President also commended the work of emergency services who assisted in rescue efforts, after the flooding in Port St Johns and surrounding areas, which caused landslides, uprooted trees, blocked roads severely affecting the lives of people.

Cabinet reiterated the call to people who live in low lying and flood prone areas to always exercise extreme caution and follow weather warnings. –