Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy revealed Government’s new big project. Creecy says the South African Weather Service will be allocated R100 million over three years.
Upgraded infrastructure is what the money is intended for
The money is intended to upgrade its infrastructure with modern radar technology which is used to detect severe storms. Creecy tabled her department’s budget for the 2022/23 financial year on Wednesday, 18 May.
Creecy’s department is making efforts to tackle climate change, support conservation, improve environmental health and clamping down on poaching a priority.
Creecy spoke about the recent floods in KZN and the reality of climate change. She noted that media coverage of the floods cast doubt on SAWS’ ability to predict severe events.
She explained that weather warnings were issued before the floods. Adding that SAWS upgraded its warning from Level 5 to Level 8 on 11 April.
The new radar technology is ‘state of the art’
“To ensure, that despite revenue shortfalls, our forecasting ability is state of the art we have allocated the South African Weather Service an amount of R100-million over three years to upgrade its infrastructure,”Creecy said.
Creecy revealed that the new technology has become available recently. According to the minister, the new radar technology can accurately predict individual, severe storms.
“We would want to upgrade our radar technology to have access to that so that we can be more accurate in indicating exactly the sort of geographic locations these events would target,” said Creecy.
She explained that they also intend to move equipment to safer locations. She says that many pieces of equipment have been on roadsides and have faced damage. The plan is to move these items to police stations and even schools.
KZN Disaster Management teams on high alert – Level 4 weather warning
Disaster Management teams in KwaZulu-Natal are on high alert following a level 4 weather warning issued for disruptive rain in parts of the province. The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sipho Hlomuka, urged residents to exercise extreme caution.
He said communities residing in low-lying areas could experience flooding due to the already saturated ground following the heavy rains experienced by the province in April.
The SA Weather Services (SAWS) warned of roads and bridges flooding as well as poor driving conditions. Flooding of settlements and damage to property and infrastructure is also expected. Read the full story here.