Report in Sowetan was misleading

YOUR article about the Western Cape's disaster preparedness for the World Cup could not have been more misleading (Cape not ready for Cup disasters, June 8).

There has been excellent disaster management planning for the World Cup in Western Cape. The province, city and all five districts have identified all their disaster risks, such as fires, floods, hazardous chemical spills and disruption in essential services and have risk reduction and response plans for them.

Western Cape has been central in leading and supporting disaster preparedness in South Africa as a whole and has been complimented by national government on its preparedness.

Allegations regarding a poor relationship with SAPS are without foundation. A 2010 work group consisting of the SANDF, SAPS, EMS, fire brigade services and disaster management all contributed to the development of detailed emergency preparedness plans for the province.

As for lack of "proper plans", we have made extensive preparations for chemical, biological and radiological events and urban search and rescue response. These plans were compiled by the city and district municipalities, provincial emergency medical services, the SANDF and SAPS.

The "mass walkout" referred to involved one person leaving the meeting (and the matter was later resolved).

It is a shame that more than a year of hard work, close cooperation with stakeholders and great achievement has been undermined by irresponsible, poor journalism. We expect a higher standard of reporting from Sowetan.

Hildegarde FastHead: Department of Local GovernmentWestern Cape