13 October 2015

EThekwini Publishes Community Emergency Responce Guide 

EThekwini Municipality has published a booklet guiding citizens on the correct procedure to follow in case of an emergency. 

The guide was disseminated to ward committee members, business, ratepayers’ associations, residents and non-government organisations at the Amanzimtoti Civic Centre, today, 13 October 2015, during a workshop to address residents’ concerns about disaster and safety procedures.

This process comes after the residents’ concerns were raised in May 2015 during Mayor James Nxumalo’s visit of the South Durban Basin (SDB) area. This is in line with the Municipality’s commitment to ensure a safe environment for residents to reside in.

The booklet specifically deals with emergencies in the bulk chemical facilities, pipelines, oil refineries, road, rail accidents of hazardous material, due to the close proximity of the chemical industry and residents in the SDB area. The booklet focuses on actions or strategies aimed at protecting the public during an emergency incident involving fire, toxic chemical release or hazardous materials. It is applicable to any area.

The Speaker of the Municipality, Cllr Logie Naidoo said that the SDB area is home to two large petrochemical refineries, paper mill, motor manufactures and at least 5000 businesses, approximately 22 000 households and about 200 000 residents. “The safety of residents living in close proximity to this high chemical and industrial area is one of the City’s main priorities,” he said. 

Naidoo said the booklet provides information on the first step for communities to take to protect themselves in the event of an incident. 

“The idea is to protect the public from being exposed to the hazardous material and minimise impact as quickly as possible,” added Naidoo.

The booklet is a simple step by step guide of universally accepted procedures that is used even in industry. The booklet describes three major steps for communities, such as to “Go in, Stay in and Tune in” – describing the “Shelter In Place” procedures that seeks to limit an individual’s exposure to hazardous materials by seeking refuge in a contained environment. The guide also gives details of how to report an incident to the City’s emergency hotline.

Further consultation and workshops are planned with all relevant stakeholders as the City partners with communities and business to ensure that hazardous risks in our environments are reduced to a minimum. 

The Municipality is constantly improving on its emergency response plans for each area, including informal settlements. The Fire and Emergency Department has an existing plan designed to respond to disasters such as fires in informal settlements. This includes information on access routes, population, number of households and location of fire hydrants. 

Members of the public are urged to report any emergency to the Municipal Disaster Management call centre number on 031 3610000. 

The booklet is available on the Municipality’s website ​


Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Sisilana on 031 311 4855 or email: or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4855 or email:

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