ContinuitySA hosts Gauteng emergency monitoring service

Johannesburg, 11 Jan 2008

Gauteng's first consolidated disaster management and emergency monitoring centre, designed to provide provincial citizens with an emergency control room equivalent to the best the world has to offer, has been launched.

The facility was built according to best international practices found in similar service centres globally and is hosted in a secure location in Midrand by ContinuitySA.

The Premier of Gauteng, Mbhazima Shilowa, officially opened the Gauteng Disaster and Emergency Monitoring Centre, in Midrand, on 21 November 2007.

The launch event was also attended by provincial MECs, including Honourable Brian Hlongwane, MEC for health, and Honourable Qedani Mahlangu, MEC for local government, as well as mayors from various Gauteng municipalities.

The Gauteng provincial government is using the Disaster Management Centre (doubling as an emergency services monitoring centre) as a central command post to monitor and control any disaster situations and emergencies that occur in the province. A team from the provincial government designed the new facility, based on examples from the best in the world, and assigned ContinuitySA the task of building the centre at its Midrand disaster recovery premises.

The Department of Local Government conducted exhaustive research into how the best facilities in the USA were designed and then followed international best practices in asking ContinuitySA to build the disaster management centre.

The facility has been taken into use and the provincial authorities have plans to expand it to monitor all emergencies in the province in future, ensuring an effective response is provided no matter what the situation or in which municipality it occurs.

Anthony Askew, business development manager of ContinuitySA, says the centre was designed and built using the latest in technology that was supplied by qualified third-parties. "We cut no corners in ensuring we used the latest technology available for this type of facility and created the most advanced emergency disaster management and monitoring centre possible. The Gauteng government is now able to deliver a disaster and emergency management service to its citizens, which is on par with the best in the world.

"The centre is actually comprised of two facilities, hosted as a separate part of ContinuitySA's disaster recovery premises, which provides guarantees of continued operations even in the worst of emergencies," Askew continues. "The Gauteng Department of Health's Emergency Medical Services centre runs alongside the local government's Disaster Management Centre. These two facilities work side-by-side in the central command centre to effectively deal with any issues that may arise."

Local IT suppliers, Dimension Data, IBM, and some of their subsidiaries were seconded to provide the technology and assisted greatly in setting up the centre at ContinuitySA's premises. The Gauteng Disaster Management Centre (and Emergency Monitoring Centre) is now staffed on a daily basis and will expand its scope of operations to provide a central control point for all the disaster and emergency needs of the province.

ContinuitySA has been awarded a five-year contract to provide and support the centre's infrastructural needs, ensuring it is able to provide a world-class service to the public at all times.


Editorial contacts

Evan Bloom
Strategy One Communications
(011) 622 7027