Examining the nature of disaster risk reduction strategies in local municipalities : a case study of Ndwedwe Local Municipality

14 Dec 2020

Local government is at the coalface of service delivery, one of their duties is to ensure the safety of its communities from risks that can occur at any time in their daily lives. Communities can be exposed to disaster risks that usually occur when they are least expected. Hence local municipalities should always be forearmed with effective disaster risk reduction strategies. This paper examines the nature of disaster risk reduction strategies in rural municipalities using a case study of Ndwedwe Local Municipality. This paper further discusses the South African Disaster Risk Assessment Model in relevance to the case study. The article then further looks at the status quo of the municipality in terms of its readiness to different forms of disaster that it periodically faces. This paper employed a qualitative research design through semi structured interviews and focus groups. The findings of this paper show that rural municipalities are vulnerable to the disaster risks because of the lack of resources, both financial and human. They also show that the municipality needs to use a 'bottom-up' approach by involving the communities in the identification of risks as well as the implementation of the municipal proposed strategies. Findings also show that rural municipalities need to undertake disaster risk assessments to allocate the resources accordingly. Most of all, the implementation of the strategies needs to have its own budget allocation, hence political buy-in and senior management willingness are also pivotal.