Disaster risk reduction (DRR) should be a priority for government at all levels, but failures in adequately addressing major factors, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and growing economic hardship in South Africa, point to insufficient capacity and commitment to carry through on this mandate, says SRK Consulting geographical information system and disaster management principal consultant Martin Stols.

He explains that the Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the importance of being prepared for unexpected events, as well as serving to demonstrate that certain risks are often underestimated, and that there is no room for complacency.