A review of the implementation of disaster risk assessments in the city of Cape Town: challenges and prospects
The problem question of this study is how the City of Cape Town, as a metro municipality went about implementing Disaster Risk Assessments. While the National Disaster Management Centre acknowledges that municipalities are battling to perform Disaster Risk Assessments. Understanding what was done, by whom and when will aid in the understanding of implementing Disaster Risk Assessments. Uncovering the prospects and challenges they faced and will help shed light on the guidance that is required by other municipalities, although this study’s inference is limited by the methodology. The relatively new Disaster Management Act requires a shift from old civil defence legislation to a proactive disaster risk reduction mode, with new institutional arrangements. The shift to a proactive disaster risk reduction approach required by the new legislation cannot be achieved without firstly implementing these new institutional and policy arrangements and secondly, implementing this first and vital step in the disaster risk reduction process namely, Disaster Risk Assessments. The study also seeks to understand in the community was involved. This is a qualitative study, i.e. it contains descriptive statistics and narratives. It used questionnaires to provide numerical and descriptive data to measure compliance to the Disaster Management Act in terms of the institutional arrangements implemented by the City of Cape Town. Secondly, qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interviews to provide data to understand the challenges and prospects encountered in performing Disaster Risk Assessments. A literature review was also undertaken to highlight the current debates in Disaster Risk Reduction. The stratified sample was from the officials employed at the City’s Disaster Management Centre, Area Managers, NGOs, Ward Councillors and Consultants. The data was collated and the analysed. The objective is to primarily understand what was done, by whom, when and secondly to understand the prospects and challenges faced. The findings, recommendations and areas of future study are captured in this research report.
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