Thursday 2024-05-30




By DELISA THWALA | 2020-06-04

The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) is working around the clock to ensure that schools re-open in the country.

This was revealed by NDMA CEO Russell Dlamini and his team yesterday in a press conference.

Dlamini said they were working on a contingency plan that would seek to minimise the spread of coronavirus amongst pupils.  He said part of the plan  involves providing masks to pupils and teachers.

The CEO was accompanied by his NDMA colleagues Sihle Mzileni and Victor Mahlalela.

“We are looking at providing four masks per pupil,” Dlamini said.

Echoing the CEO, Mzileni said their investigations had revealed that the country has about 120 000 pupils.

In order to deliver four masks per pupil, they need to have about 480 000 masks.

The Kirsh Foundation has already donated 300 000 masks for pupils.

He  said they wanted to ensure that by the time schools re-open, pupils have access to clean water and soaps.


 “we hope that by the time schools open, we will have enough masks for pupils and teachers.

“In every job, there will always be misunderstandings and mishaps, but we are delivering food and responding as quickly as possible,” said Dlamini.  

He urged those who donate beans food parcels to pack them in the following manner; 10kg rice, 10kg mealie meal, 21 litre cooking oil, beans.

Dlamini said this new way would enable them to make equivalent donations to the different families that are in dire need.


The NDMA further stated that one of the challenges they faced whilst carrying out the distribution exercise was beneficiaries’ documentation that was not in order. Mahlalela explained that in some cases, people registered with invalid mobile phone numbers and expired identification numbers hence the delay  in some cases.

Mahlalela said this would see them starting the registration process afresh. “Some people have submitted invalid numbers that were out of services, invalid ID numbers whilst others go to the extent of sharing ID numbers.

“Such incidents cause our system to clog,” said Mahlalela.

The agency also disclosed that chieftaincy disputes have negatively affected their work. He said this then resulted in the NDMA team shifting their focus to resolving the disputes.

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