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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Dawn French
Dawn French - NEMO Director

Thursday, July 24, 2003 - The membership of the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) supports introducing the Powers of Evacuation Act to Parliament, with a view to strengthening legislation guiding the organisation’s mandate. The issue was raised at a consultation held on July 15, to review legal instruments which relate directly to NEMO.

Director of NEMO Dawn French says, should this proposal become law, it will be used as the final means to remove uncooperative persons from risky areas to safety, during the pending passage of a disaster.

“Even if you have a community that agrees that an evacuation is required, you may still have one or two persons who may not wish to move out regardless of what the government, the emergency services and their own families may tell them,” Miss French said. “And in the interest of saving the lives of the potential victims and emergency workers, then that Act would be used as a last resort.”

The Emergency Powers Act No.5 of 1995 and the Disaster Preparedness Response Act No. 13 of 2000, were reviewed with modifications made to both pieces of legislation. French explained that the modifications are now being integrated into the initial draft document and a follow up consultation is now being considered.

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