Climate change is affecting South Africa severely. Parts of the country increasingly experience serious droughts, while at the same time changes in rainfall patterns result in severe storms, landslides and flash flooding in other parts of the country. In the dry areas, the drought results in significant reductions of dam levels which cause chronic water shortages in urban areas.
The shortage of water also negatively affects crop yields and livestock, which in turn negatively impacts on food security, especially among the urban poor who are unable to adjust to the resultant increases in food prices.
To mitigate the impact of climate change on their ability to deliver services effectively and sustainably, cities need to build resilience through a local and integrated approach. All city departments, local stakeholders and communities have to engage proactively to tackle the challenge of climate change.
Planning for climate change and its impacts start with Cities. They need to:
Integrate: make climate change and sustainability central to city planning and service delivery, and include risk and vulnerability analysis
Educate: form learning and partnerships with cities and other academic institutions, so that staff and communities understand climate change impacts.
Evaluate: Identify and assess the climate change resilience measures throughout key supply chains
Be Informed: develop an interactive information system to analyse and update weather/ climate impacts on service delivery
Be Inclusive: include stakeholders outside local government (other government spheres,private sector, civil society and community) in planning for climate change
Assess: loss of rates income because of decreased property values in affected areas such as those affected by drought.