KZN extreme weather: A warning to step-up climate action 

Issued by Hannah Shameema Winkler MP – DA Member on the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and Environment
30 Jun 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Hannah Shameema Winkler MP.

In the aftermath of the significant flooding and landspout that hit Durban earlier this week, the Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on Minster Creecy and the Department of Forestry and Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) to step up on its climate action commitments and prioritise the processing of the Climate Change Bill.

The severe flooding in KwaZulu-Natal in April 2022, as well as the latest extreme weather event this week, once again underscore the urgent need for decisive climate action. It exposes the vulnerabilities of our municipalities to climate-related shocks, a reality that needs to be urgently addressed in our national legislation. The current Climate Change Bill will provide an opportunity to address pressing issues of adaptation and resilience at the municipal level.

Municipalities, like eThekwini, which are increasingly on the frontline of climate change impacts, are woefully unprepared to deal with wide-scale disasters. It is vital that municipalities across the country are provided with the resources, support, and legal framework necessary to build resilience against an increasing number of climate shocks. The support offered to municipalities furthermore requires technical capacitation and rigorous oversight to ensure implementation.

Existing legislation falls short of providing a comprehensive and actionable plan for our municipalities to effectively manage and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The Climate Change Bill must ensure that our municipalities are well-equipped and empowered to adapt to the changing climate. This includes effective disaster management planning, local infrastructure development to withstand extreme weather events, and the introduction of sustainable, climate-resilient practices at the local level.

Furthermore, we must accelerate our national climate action. We are witnessing the impacts of climate change now, not in a distant future, and our response should mirror this urgency.

The DA stands ready to work with all relevant stakeholders in crafting a strong, implementable, and effective legal framework that addresses the reality of climate change and ensures the resilience and adaptability of our municipalities.

We extend our thoughts and support to all those affected by the extreme weather event in Durban this week. This incident should serve as a stark reminder of the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for effective action. The DA will continue to advocate for climate action and for government readiness to protect our citizens from the worsening impacts of climate shocks.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at