JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The South African government on Saturday activated its national contingency plan which spells out how to deal with natural disasters.
The government said the country is exposed to weather-related hazards in summer that can trigger widespread devastation, including above-normal rainfall that can lead to floods, impacts of cyclones such as severe storms, tornadoes and hail storms. The country is also vulnerable to veld fires and large informal settlement fires.
"We have entered a period that is prone to various disasters and it is important for the country to have contingency plans in place to mitigate their negative impact," said Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
"We are confident that government across all spheres is responding decisively and adequately to address the humanitarian needs of those affected by recent inclement weather related incidents," said Zuma.
She said natural disasters destroy infrastructure and disrupt communities who are sometimes left without basic services. The ministry are working with the South African Weather Service who will supply daily and weekly weather forecasts.
"We have already experienced a number of incidents across the country which claimed and destroyed property. On behalf of the government, I convey our condolences to those who lost loved ones," she added.
She called on the people to be aware of the alerts on hazards issued by authorities through various communication channels and platforms during this season.