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If a regional disaster has happened, the responsible head of disaster management on scene is each head of Provincial Disaster Management Center (PDMC) in South Africa as shown above. Each province must establish and implement a framework for disaster management in the province:

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§  To specialize in issues concerning disasters and disaster management in the province;

§  To ensure an integrated and uniform approach to disaster management in the province by all provincial organs of state, provincial statutory functionaries;

§  To be consistent with the provisions of this Act and the national disaster management framework.

The PDMC coordinates a quarterly Provincial Disaster Management Advisory Forum where all relevant stakeholders (National and Provincial Departments; District Municipalities, in particular, District Disaster Management Centers; B-Municipalities; Non-Governmental Organizations; Special Operations Executives; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; National Defense Force; SAPS; Cities; South Africa Weather Services) gather to discuss pertinent matters relevant to disaster management.

For example, the Disaster Management and Fire & Rescue Services Chief Directorate, is responsible for facilitating disaster management and coordinating fire and rescue services throughout the Western Cape Province, see Figure 7. Divided into two directorates: disaster risk reduction and disaster operations, the Chief Directorate is accommodated within the Provincial Disaster Management Center (PDMC).

Figure 7: Firefighters rescuing directed by PDMC

The Disaster Management and Fire & Rescue Services has three basic functions:

§  To establish and maintain institutional disaster management capacity and to implement effective risk reduction activities.

§  To prepare for and respond to disasters and coordinate disaster recovery.

§  To coordinate the provincial fire brigade function and capacitate municipalities.

In addition, each Provincial Disaster Management Center in South Africa can established its own rescue programs and plans, such as Fire Prevention Plan, Flood Contingency Plan and Snow Contingency Plan in Free State. For example, Free State reinforces and establishes response activities and assigns responsibilities to various response role players in Flood Contingency Plan, see table 3.

Table 3. Roles of response organizations in Flood Contingency Plan in Free State

Response Role Players


South African Weather Services

Flood Warnings to Disaster Managers, homes and businesses.

Provincial, District and Local Disaster Management Centers

Coordination (Mobilization of resources and volunteers)

Dept. Human Settlements

Emergency Housing/Shelter

Dept. Police Roads and Transport – SAPS

Secure, protect and preserve the scene; Organize and disseminate casualty information; Provisionally identify dead people ; Restore normality

Dept. Police Roads and Transport – Traffic Management

Traffic Control; Providing road barriers and signs

Dept. Health – Emergency Medical Services

Emergency Medical Services and emergency health advice

Dept. Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs

Flood alleviation e.g. clearing blocked drains; Minimize environmental dangers

Dept.Water Affairs

Monitor and regulate dam levels; Flood Plain Management

Dept. Police Roads and TransportDept.of Health Fire Brigade Services

Search and Rescue

Dept. Police Roads and Transport



Air support helicopters

Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries

Assess Stock and Crop losses; Provide Relief Funding

Dept. Police Roads and TransportDepartment of Public Works

Assess damage to roads and infrastructure; Repair damaged roads and infrastructure, including buildings


Electricity Emergency Shutdown

Dept. of Social Development

Emergency feeding and clothing

Red Cross

Medical Assistance

Dept. of the Premier

Media liaison


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