RURAL COMMUNITIES MUST BE ABLE TO ACT IN EMERGENCIES

Dear Editor

RE: RURAL COMMUNITIES MUST BE ABLE TO ACT IN EMERGENCIES

The Democratic Alliance would like to express its condolences with the families who have lost loved ones this week in the veld fires that razed the Eastern part of the province. This tragedy should be a warning to the whole province — which has been experiencing an ongoing drought — that rural communities need to be trained and enabled to act when such disasters occur. Lives have been lost unnecessarily.

While the Eastern part of the province has little or no infrastructure at all to deal with disasters like the fires, large parts of the West are also extremely remote.

The Democratic Alliance urges the MEC for Safety and Liaison, Ghishma Barry to work with the other relevant departments, such as Health and Local Government, to set up and train community task teams to implement preventative measures, for instance firebreaks, and who can act swiftly and efficiently in emergencies.

The backlogs in infrastructure in the province are immense, and it is time that the ruling party addresses this issue. In addition, the ongoing drought has forced communities to seek relief from the government. There is no doubt that the recent veld fires will leave many more communities destitute, desperate and in need of government help.

Yours faithfully

Pine Pienaar, MPL
DA spokesperson on Health, Bhisho.