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Santam, South Africa’s largest general insurer, handed over firefighting equipment to the Mangaung Metro Fire Services on 16 September 2022 as part of its flagship programme known as Partnerships for Risk and Resilience (P4RR). The intervention came after the city approached Santam for support with firefighting foam and fire blowers to optimise its firefighting efforts.
Santam has provided 140 containers of 25l firefighting foams and 6 fire blowers to the City. The fire blowers are particularly useful for fighting veldfires which are prevalent in the Mangaung region, especially in the more rural parts of the City. Santam is confident that this intervention will strengthen the capacity of the City to manage both structural and veld fires.
Through the P4RR programme, Santam has to date, partnered with 82 municipalities across the country. Dr Moses Khangale, Manager: Stakeholder Programmes at Santam, says this initiative forms part of the group’s ongoing efforts to capacitate selected municipalities to reduce vulnerability to drought, flood, and fire disasters. We designed the P4RR Programme 10 years ago to proactively support disaster risk management efforts of municipalities and to contribute to building resilient communities through partnerships. Climate change is impacting the frequency and intensity of disasters hence it is critical to establish an all of society partnership involving both governmental agencies and the private sector to effectively manage disaster risks.
According to Dr Khangale, the private sector has a fundamental role to play, and as Santam, we believe a collaborative model between the public and private sector is the most optimal and impactful approach to protect communities from disasters. It is against this background that Santam is partnering with municipalities and other governmental agencies to reduce systemic risks, build institutional capacity and community resilience.
Over the recent past, the country has seen a steady increase in the number of disasters triggered by severe and extreme weather events across the country. While some districts in the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape have experienced extremely dry conditions, the KwaZulu-Natal province received significant amounts of rainfall in April-May 2022 that resulted in significant loss of lives, unprecedented damage to infrastructure and disruption of livelihoods. With the Mangaung Metro, Santam ‘s focus is on supporting the fire service to improve its capacity to manage fire risks.
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