As part of its ongoing support of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality through its Partnership for Risk and Resilience initiative, previously known as Business Adopt a Municipality, short-term insurer Santam handed over fire-fighting equipment worth R220 000 to the Grahamstown Fire Department, in the Makana Local Municipality, on 4 July.
Expected to be used not only in Makana but outside its municipal borders, the equipment consists of a skid unit, fire branches, spades, hammers, protective clothing, torches, spotlights and foam cans.
The handover comes in response to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Santam and the Sarah Baartman District Municipality in March last year, with the aim of strengthen capacity in relation to disaster management, and how to reduce risks on the ground.
“Over the last few years, we have secured significant successes with our shared risk management approach to address climate-related risks through partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders including business, land owners and local government,” Santam Group Chief Executive, Temba Mvusi, said.
“Our involvement with the Sarah Baartman District Municipality has so far yielded leadership programmes designed to educate municipal managers on how to understand the process risks systemically”.
Mvusi stated that the partnership, which Santam has signed with ten district municipalities consisting of 53 local municipalities across the country, has made huge strides in recent years, with the latest being the establishing of a joint implementation plan following floods in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality in Mpumalanga.
“Access to flood data obtained from the Mbombela Local Municipality and analysed by Santam’s Risk Service allowed, us to identify and classify all flood risks, identify exposed clients within this risk pool and apply flood risk mitigation measures,” Mvusi said.
“By partnering with the local authority, Santam saved R4.2-million that would have been spent on conducting scientific research studies to obtain the same data. We have greatly improved the provision of disaster management in the respective 53 local municipalities, and remain committed to creating a better life for all South African citizens”.
Speaking at the same event, Makana Local Municipality Executive Mayor Nomhle Gaga said the equipment would ease the pressure on fire fighters given the challenges faced by the size of the covered area.
“Most of the areas we serve are rural and during this time year, we have a large number of fires of breaking out. We are therefore very grateful for this handover and I can assure you that this equipment would be well looked after,” Mayor Gaga said.
Sarah Baartman District Municipality Municipal Manager Ted Pillay stated that the equipment is proof of a partnership in working.
“On behalf of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, we sincerely appreciate this gift from Santam, and would like to urge those using it to take care of it, and put it to good use for the benefaction of communities”.
CAPTION: NEW AND READY TO FIGHT BLAZE: Makana Fire Service Manager William Welkom (front left in uniform) receives the new fire-fighting equipment donated by Santam as part of its Partnership for Risk and Resilience initiative with the Sarah Baartman District Municipality. Also present are the Executive Mayor of the Makana Local Municipality, Nomhle Gaga (next to Welkom), (at the rear L-R) Sarah Baartman District Municipality Municipal Manager Ted Pillay; Santam Stakeholder Relations Head John Lomberg; Santam Group CEO Temba Mvusi and fire-fighters from the Grahamstown Fire Department