Draft Climate Change Plan
Key Climate Hazards
The figure below shows projected changes in annual average temperatures, highlighting increasing temperatures throughout the district for the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. By 2050, the district is projected to be affected by higher annual average temperatures, which will adversely affect water and food security. Evaporation rates will also likely increase and agricultural outputs may reduce.
Increasing rainfall variability
The figure below shows projected shifts in annual average rainfall throughout the district between 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Annual average rainfall amounts vary across the district. There is uncertainty regarding projected future rainfall.
Increasing storms and flooding events
The figure below shows projected changes in the annual average number of extreme rainfall days throughout the district over the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Increases in the number of rainfall days are likely to result in an increase in intense storms, and flooding events across the district.
The current delineation of biomes is depicted in the figure below, with the predicted shift in biomes shown in the following figure based on a high-risk scenario. The biomes have varying sensitivities to the projected impacts of climate change which are further exacerbated by issues such as the fragmentation of natural areas and unsustainable water usage rates.
Climate Change Vulnerability
A climate change vulnerability assessment is a way of identifying and prioritising impacts from climate change. The IPCC defines vulnerability as:
"Vulnerability to climate change is the degree to which geophysical, biological and socio-economic systems are susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse impacts of climate change"
Summary of Climate Change Response Plan
A vulnerability assessment lets you identify these adverse impacts of climate change that are most important to your area. The climate change vulnerability assessment process that is used in this toolkit identified the following indicators in the table below.
Adaptive Capacity Comment
|Agriculture||Change in Sorghum production||Yes||There is potential for future development.||High||High for livelihoods. It is an opportunity for crop shift, also used as livestock feed.||Low||Economic impact will affect the crop shift opportunity for agricultural processing.|
|Agriculture||Increased risks to livestock||Yes||Farms (commercial) Heidelberg - Beef - Karan Beef; subsistence farms - KA.||High||Contributes to economic growth.|
Improves food security and generates income.
|Low||GDARD, Municipality. GDARD is planning to do subsistence farming surveys. |
Plant Brazaree grass .
GDARD also runs the Nguni project, which helps to introduce
animals that can adapt to harsh conditions
|Biodiversity and Environment||Loss of High Priority Biomes||Yes||Grasslands||High||It will become a bushveld||Low||DEA, SANBI, Municipality. |
Currently biodiversity is being lost in an alarming rate GDARD.
|Biodiversity and Environment||Increased impacts on threatened ecosystems||Yes||Development, Fire. |
Critical ecosystems Lesedi
|High||Runaway fires||Low||animals that can adapt to harsh conditions.|
|Biodiversity and Environment||Loss of Priority Wetlands and River ecosystems||Yes||Rietspruit, Blesbok Wetlands, Evaton.|
Vaal River, Vaal Dam, Boipatong Wetland.
|High||High because the Vaal River is the main water supply for Gauteng Province.||Low||SANBI, GDARD and Municipality.|
Lack of human capacity.
Vaal River floods causing roads to close and infrastructure damaged.
|Human Health||Health impacts from increased storm events||Yes||Floods occurred in 2014 and hailstorms occurred in June 2016.||High||Sebokeng|
All areas surrounding the Vaal River that are built on wetlands.
|Low||South African Weather Service (only news, great challenge)|
Early warning systems.
|Human Health||Increased Occupational health problems||Yes||Municipal workers, farms and industries (in some industries that have furnaces people already exposed to very high temperatures and it may be worse with ambient temperature increase).||High||0||Low||Department of Health and Department of Labour.|
Some regulations in place.
No regulations for informal sector.
Need to look into sustainable urban drainage as a response.
Greening and tree planting occurs at a small scale.
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased impacts on traditional and informal dwellings||Yes||Seropi, Seabonga, Phumasebethone, Sicelo||High||More people living in informal settlements. Informal settlements developed in low lying areas, which causes additional pressure on health systems.||Low||Municipality- Planning and Housing, Disaster Management and Social Development.|
No funding to support services in informal settlements.
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased migration to urban and peri-urban areas||Yes||Tshepeso, Mukhulela Sencelo and Seropi and Kwa Masiza. |
All local municipalities
|High||There is an Influx of people into the District Municipal Area from all over South Africa and abroad.|
The influx affects service delivery, local economy, roads, health and sewer infrastructure.
|Low||Insufficient resources to respond and enforce regulations, including municipal building and planning policies and by-laws.|
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Decreased income from tourism||Yes||Dickson Park, Vaal Dam, and various hotels.||High||Job opportunities, recreational facilities, the drop in water levels and flooding have affected tourism.||Low||Municipality, LED, Department of Tourism, Hotels Association.|
Hotels cannot operate in the event of hazards and closed in 2011 and 2012 due to floods.
|Water||Less water available for irrigation and drinking||Yes||Heatwave causing drought resulting in less water.|
Industrial pollution, upstream pollution and poor drainage system.
|High||Rand Water one of the top water suppliers.|
High water losses.
|Low||DWS, Municipalities and Rand Water.|
Rand water to fix leaks.
Water quality monitors.
Green building and the detection of leaks.
The CSIR Greenbook has also developed and refined a vulnerability assessment framework by collating relevant data into composite vulnerability indicators. Four local municipality level vulnerability indices were computed and are shown spatially below.
Social inequalities are the factors that affect the susceptibility and coping mechanisms of communities and households. Indicators for social vulnerability attempt to consider the sensitivity, response and recovery from the impacts of natural hazards. The CSIR Green Book has developed a socio-economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the Socio-Economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Environmental vulnerability describes the vulnerability and risk to the natural environment and the impacts on the ecological infrastructure of which surrounding settlements are dependent. The environmental risk of an area includes ecosystems, habitats, physical and biological processes (reproduction, diversity, energy ﬂows, etc). The CSIR Green Book has developed an Environmental Vulnerability Index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the environmental vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Physical vulnerability describes the physical fabric and connectedness of settlements (buildings and infrastructure) and focuses mainly on the conditions that exist before a hazard occurs and the expected level of resulting loss. The CSIR Green Book has developed a physical vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the physical vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Economic vulnerability describes the potential risks posed by hazards on economic assets and processes. Potential hazards can include job losses, increased poverty and interruptions in business activities. The CSIR Green Book has developed an economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
- CSIR. 2019. ‘Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change’. Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change. 2019. www.greenbook.co.za.
- Le Roux, A, E van Huyssteen, K Arnold, and C Ludick. 2019. ‘The Vulnerabilities of South Africa’s Settlements’. Green Book. 2019. https://pta-gis-2-web1.csir.co.za/portal/apps/GBCascade/index.html?appid=280ff54e54c145a5a765f736ac5e68f8.
SANParks. 2011a. ‘CCAB - Current Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/484
SANParks. 2011b. ‘CCAB - High Risk Scenarios - Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/486.