"Heatwaves pose a major threat in urban settlements, and many lives will be lost without timely planning and action" - says Alize le Roux from our partners in the African Futures and Innovation Program at the Institute for Security Studies in her recent article.
The author refers to studies by the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and points out that health risks are particularly high for vulnerable groups: "the poor, elderly and young, people living in informal dwellings without proper insulation and ventilation, those reliant on public transport, and communities without access to green spaces and water."
"The CSIR research shows that 454 cities and towns primarily located towards the north-west, northern and central highlands face severe heat stress by 2050" writes the author.
She warns that many of them are seriously unprepared, and emphasizes that risk reduction efforts should be pursued by all spheres of government.
"As urbanisation continues, building adaptive capacity into the design of settlements will be vital for saving lives. Worthwhile initiatives such as C40’s climate action plans are seeing cities such as Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, Ethikwini, Tshwane and Johannesburg pledge to build urban resilience. But South Africa needs to urgently pass the draft Climate Change Bill and implement the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy."
Read the concise, insightful article here: