Team chosen to consolidate Overberg FPAs
A group of land owners, together with representatives from the Overberg District Municipality and CapeNature make up the team currently overseeing the establishment of the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (GOFPA). The working group has met to see how best to consolidate the FPAs, to discuss a new constitution and to work on a standard membership fee.
According to an update from the GOFPA to stakeholders, the expanded FPA will currently be made up of six FPAs operating across the Overberg. Two more FPAs have indicated potential interest in joining, and one has decided not to join. The Bredasdorp Vlakte FPA will be renamed the Greater Overberg FPA, and its boundaries will be extended to meet the new boundaries.
The process of amalgamating FPAs across the region follows recommendations made as part of the Global Environment Facility-funded FynbosFire Project. A report found that FPAs could be consolidated at a district municipal level, consisting of smaller fire management units. It’s hoped that an expanded FPA could improve the coordination of integrated fire management. It will also improve the early detection of fires, and the monitoring of controlled burns, via a district-wide satellite monitoring system.
The executive working group consists of Reinard Geldenhuys (ODM), the former chairs of the FPAs and representatives from other stakeholder groups including CapeNature. The former chairs are: John Albertyn (Bredasdorp Vlakte), John Hauman (Babylonstoring), Pietersarel de Bruyn (Overberg TWK), Guy Brooke-Sumner (Sondagskloof), Nico de Kock (Swellendam) and Dr Paul Clüver (Theewater-Groenland). Their task furthermore is to secure the appointment of a long-term manager and to assess the funding requirements of the expanded GOFPA. In the meantime, an interim manager for GOFPA will be appointed for 3 months starting on 1 March 2014 to get the ball rolling.
According to the GOFPA update, the plan is now to divide the expanded FPA into management areas, based on the boundaries of the old FPAs. These will in turn be divided into fire management units.