Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy delivers budget speech to National Council of Provinces
Honourable House Chair
Deputy Minister Ms Makhotso Sotyu;
Honourable Tebogo Modise and Committee members
Chairpersons of the Entities reporting to the DFFE;
Director-General, Ms Nomfundo Tshabalala and team Environment
CEOs of our Public Entities;
It has been several weeks since KwaZulu-Natal, parts of the Eastern Cape and North West Provinces suffered severe damage from floods. This tragic event has left many counting the cost, not only of the loss of loved ones, but also the damage caused to homes, infrastructure, and the economy.
Severe weather events, a phenomena associated with global warming, are a reminder that climate change is already part of our lived reality.
The Sixth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that by 2030, 50 per cent of the world’s population will live in coastal areas that are exposed to floods, storms and tsunamis intensifying the vulnerability of communities living in conditions of poverty.
IN the face of this reality, the importance of early warning systems and effective rapid response to disasters cannot be over emphasised.
Over the past 50 years, worldwide more than 11 000 weather, climate and water-related disasters were reported. While the number of disasters increased five-fold, the number of deaths decreased almost three-fold since the 1970s. This is thanks to improved early warnings and disaster risk reduction strategies by countries.
In our country the Weather Bureau has a proven track record in predicting extreme weather events with the recent flood warnings for Kwa Zulu Natal a good example of timeous warnings given to both disaster management and the public.
Over the next three years we are investing over one hundred million rand to upgrade and modernise weather stations to bring radar and hence forecasting in line with modern very short…