Disaster Risk Management volunteer numbers receive a welcome boost

Thus far, members from at least 43 accredited Neighbourhood Watches around the city have signed up as Disaster Risk Management volunteers to bolster the City’s COVID-19 response. Read more below:


The City of Cape Town has started utilising the services of some of its newest Disaster Risk Management Volunteers.

The volunteer corps has been an essential cog in the operational wheel of the City’s COVID-19 response, and recently, their numbers received an additional boost through the recruitment of Neighbourhood Watch members as volunteers.

In terms of the National Disaster Act, Neighbourhood Watches cannot perform their mandated duties in their communities, which is why the City made the offer for members of accredited NHWs who are willing, to join the ranks of the DRMC volunteers instead.

‘Many of our Neighbourhood Watches are well-organised, and know the lay of the land in their local communities. Allowing accredited NHW members to do duty as DRM volunteers definitely increases our capacity where it is most needed, but it will also reassure communities who are being assisted by people they know or are familiar with,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

The DRMC volunteers are assisting with the promotion of social distancing at certain facilities like shopping centres and community testing sites, assisting with loud-hailing in communities as part of ongoing education and awareness initiatives, as well as logistics like collection and delivery of goods for the Disaster Risk Management Centre.

Currently, there are 43 Neighbourhood Watches across the metropole who have members assisting as DRM volunteers, meaning an extra 400+ pairs of hands.

‘We are hoping that more volunteers will join the ranks. Doing voluntary work during this worldwide pandemic is a noble call that speaks of true character and perseverance and it shows that we care and that we will do everything within our means to protect our citizens. I have worked with a lot of volunteers and I am extremely proud to witness such dedication. Volunteers are our ambassadors – it’s not only about enforcement and assistance, but it’s also about hope – that if we work together as one team, this pandemic will come to pass,’ said Alderman Smith.

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town