South Africa – Western Cape 2012

South Africa – Western Cape 2012


Dates: 20/10/2012 - 28/10/2012

Location: Western Cape Region, South Africa And Central Karoo - Municipalities of Laingsberg, Beauford West and Prince Albert. Eden District Municipality


project leader

Michael Doherty and Anthony Burscough

Team members

Michael Doherty
Anthony Burscough


The project

Operation Florian was approached in early 2012 for assistance in the Karoo Region, Western Cape. This request came about due to the work that Operation Florian had done in Kosovo.

Due to the complex nature of the request it was decided to carry out a scoping visit. This was negotiated over several months and it was agreed that the Western Cape Province of Central Karoo and Western Cape Disaster Management would finance and host the scope. This was approved by the board of Operation Florian. It was also decided that the Districts of Eden would be included in the visit and they would sponsor part of the trip.

During the scope, meeting’s took place with the Municipalities of Laingsburg, Beaufort West and Price Albert in Central Karoo and the Eden District Municipality. Two Regional Disaster Management Control Centres were visited and 12 fire stations in the two areas. This involved nearly 1800 kilometres travelled by road.

Western Cape is one of the nine Provinces that make up South Africa. These Provinces were established on 27/04/94. The capital of Western Cape is Cape Town. Within the Province it is divided into six Districts namely City of Cape Town, West Coast, Cape Winelands, Overberg, Eden and Central Karoo. Our report focused on the latter two.

City of Cape Town is known as a Class A Municipality, the other five are graded as Class C Municipalities and the Local Municipalities are known as Class B Municipalities of which there are 24 in the Province.

Discussions took place on the situation of the fire services. Money that is generated in income is not sufficient to meet the needs of the increasing population and the demands that are placed on the different authorities from health, housing, hospitals etc.

As a fire service they have some very fundamental basic needs, such as PPE and equipment. At the present time they share PPE which has fundamental health issues. They lack basic water equipment, hose, hand tools and rescue equipment even for the few vehicles they have. Breathing apparatus is not available in many areas. They also lacked the equipment to deal with hazmat incidents.

As a fire service they are the same as any other throughout the world, “they have problems to deal with so they find answers and manage”. To an extent this positive, creative and determined altitude works against them in the respect that they do not fail. The question is how effective, efficient and safe is that success.

There is the opportunity for Operation Florian to support this region in advice, donation and training.

How could this be achieved :-

  • Forming a partnership with the Western Cape Disaster Management.
  • Using the Disaster Management Fire (DMF) Section main partner and focal point for communication, negotiation and development for any potential project.
  • Forming partnerships with Municipalities the Karoo and Eden Districts.
  • Developing an initial project with DMF and a strategy for future projects with built in sustainability.
  • Developing a Community Fire Safety package to include informal settlements/housing, home safe, venerable people, youth, road safe etc.
  • DMF to seek funding for shipping of containers/appliances.
  • DMF to seek funding for transportation, accommodation and supplies for potential OF project team to train firefighters on donated equipment.





Special thanks

Operation Florian are extremely grateful to all supporters of this project. Without your assistance these projects would not be possible. You have helped to save lives and improve community safety:

The Operation Florian team would like to thank Colin Deinerthe  Director of Disaster Management, Etiene du Toit who is the Deputy Director for Fire Brigade Services Local Government and Annelize Lamprecht-Vertue who is Assistant Director of Fire Service Planning and Response. Both work within the Directorate Disaster Management and Fire Brigade Services.