Social work assessment of climate change: case of disasters in greater Tzaneen municipality
Shokane, Allucia L.
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Climate-change-induced disasters such as floods, heavy storms, tornadoes and extreme lightning are becoming more frequent in Africa generally and in South Africa specifically. Several factors contribute to Africa’s high vulnerability to disasters, including the high rate of population growth, food insecurity, high levels of poverty, inappropriate use of natural resources and failures of policy and institutional frameworks. The study adopted an ecological systems theory as a theoretical framework to explain how social work in rural communities deals with climate-change-induced disasters. The aim was to explore and describe the role of social work in the assessment of climate change disaster predicaments. A qualitative approach, utilising an exploratory-descriptive design, was adopted for this study. A purposive sampling technique was used to select five social workers and two social auxiliary workers to participate in the study. Semi-structured interviews were applied in the research as a tool for data collection. Data were analysed qualitatively using thematic content analysis. The research concluded that social workers should intervene in climatechange-induced disasters by conducting assessments and providing disaster intervention strategies.