The military has deployed a Denel Oryx helicopter and Cessna 210 from one of the South African Air Force Reserve Squadrons as well as two Operational Emergency Care Practitioners from the South African Military Health Service to Upington to provide search and rescue (SAR) support to the flood-stricken Northern Cape Province.
Spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini says the South African National Defence Force rescued eleven civilians in the Keimoes area yesterday and distributed twenty-seven food parcels. “Currently the SANDF, in support of the Provincial Disaster Management Committee, are assessing the situation. Any further developments will be communicated as and when they happen,” Dlamini says in a statement.
A 1998 Green Paper on Disaster Management notes the military “may be employed for service in the preservation of life, health, or property and for service in the provision or maintenance of essential services and can be requested to provide support by other government departments.
“The SANDF has resources, though limited, to carry out search and rescue operations at land, sea and air, to provide medical support, to transport relief provisions such as food and water, and to undertake the building of bridges, earth removal and road-building. The SANDF can also have access to military assistance in disaster relief operations from the other members of the Southern African Development Community. The SA Air Force also forms part of the SA Search and Rescue Organisation, a directorate of the Department of Transport.”