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SIOC Community Development Trust (SIOC-CDT) and the Climate Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF) have announced their partnership aimed at resourcing and capacitating SIOC-CDT to ably support government in preparing for and responding to as well as assisting beneficiary communities in times of disaster.

SIOC-CDT was established in 2006 by Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC) (Pty) Ltd to invest in the uplifting of the communities in which the mining company operates in the Northern Cape and Limpopo. The beneficiary areas cover Gamagara Municipality, Ga-Segonyana Municipality, Joe Morolong Municipality, Tsantsabane Municipality and Thabazimbi Municipality.

This strategic partnership has come about through the recent prevalence of disasters (especially flooding, fires, drought and heat stress) in the Northern Cape and Limpopo. These situations are consistent with global and national developments linked to the negative effects of climate change. Consequently, the risk of additional disasters over the coming years cannot be ruled out.

“Emergency situations during the past years have highlighted that SIOC-CDT needs to be resourced and capacitated to contribute assistance during these types of events,” says Vusani Malie, CEO of SIOC-CDT. “These emergencies had previously not been included in our core focus areas in terms of impactful community development. SIOC-CDT has now included a strong disaster management focus, under Emergent Needs in the new Community Development Strategy (CDS).”

In addition, the new CDS includes a focus on readiness for climate-change fuelled disaster assistance and contributing towards attainment of the global Sustainability Development Goal 13 (climate action) for beneficiary communities to ensure they are not left behind in terms of targets for global progress.

“We believe a partnership with the Climate and Disaster Resilience Fund (CDRF) will bring with it the technical assistance required for SIOC-CDT to prepare communities and assist in responding to such disasters,” says Simon Morilly, Operational Head of the CDRF. “The CDRF is an independent non-profit company, governed by an independent board. Our vision and strategy are aimed at building resilience in local communities through risk reduction and adaptation. In line with this, the key focus of the CDRF is on the successful implementation of critical interventions in the municipality space and then, also directly in local, vulnerable communities.”

To enable the vision and strategy, the CDRF uses its convening power, as evidenced by its ability to catalyse collective action, to play the role of Programme Manager, Resource Mobiliser and Stakeholder Manager.
Concludes Malie: “The CDRF provides a credible platform for SIOC-CDT to safely invest in the strengthening of municipal capacity and the resilience of vulnerable communities, while enjoying strong and focused governance on the management of resources and intervention outcomes.”

The partnership will translate into a strategy to plan for and respond to disasters and will detail the ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘who’ and ‘when’ of actions required prior to and during a disaster. The CDRF come with other technical partners such as the South African Weather Services, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as well as relief organisations to help plan for and respond to disasters. The CDRF achieves this by working very closely with local and district municipalities whose mandate is to provide this service in communities. Its approach is therefore complementary to government efforts.

The strategy will also indicate triggers for action in partnership with government (District Disaster Units) and other stakeholders to further ensure as timeous, constructive, and relevant a disaster response as possible.
A Steering Committee has been established with the Disaster Teams from all five local municipalities and relevant districts. Necessary workshops with these teams have also already commenced and will continue for the duration of the partnership. To formalise these relationships at a implementation level SIOC-CDT intends to enter into similar partnerships with government to prevent impediments when disaster strikes.


About the CDRF
The Climate and Disaster Resilience Fund (Registration number: 2021/697326/08) is a Non-Profit Company (NPC). The fund is an independent entity, governed by a board of directors.
The founding members of the fund include: the South African Insurance Association (SAIA), Swiss-Re Southern Africa, South African Weather Service, Department of Cooperative Governance, National Disaster Management Centre and Santam.

SIOC Community Development Trust (SIOC-CDT) was established in 2006 by Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC) (Pty) Ltd to invest in the uplifting of the communities in which the mining company operates in the Northern Cape and Limpopo. We invest significantly in community development projects aimed at ensuring sustainability beyond mining operations.

SIOC-CDT has substantiated its stated intention of “defining ourselves through actions, not our words” by investing over R1 billion in socio-economic and community development projects in its beneficiary communities; Gamagara, Tsantsabane, Ga-Segonyana and Joe Morolong in the Northern Cape, as well as Thabazimbi in Limpopo.

SIOC-CDT’s Enterprise Development strategy is based on three fundamental approaches to supporting businesses across its beneficiary communities – to provide access to funding, access to markets and provision to business development support to ensure development and sustainability.