The social impact of a flood on workers at a Pretoria hotel
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In South Africa, January 2011 was characterised by above average rainfall which resulted in many provinces being flooded. On the 17th of January 2011, the government of South Africa declared the City of Tshwane a National Disaster Area. It is in the city of Tshwane where a hotel was flooded causing great damage and disruption to the lives of the hotel workers. Given the lack of existing research focusing on the social dimensions of natural disasters, this provided an opportunity to study the social impact of the flood on the community of hotel workers at a Pretoria hotel. Four sub-aims were set for the study, which involved an exploration of the strengths that were exhibited, discovered or developed as a result of the flood; investigating the subjective experiences in relation to the flood; exploring the interactional patterns and relationships of the hotel workers; as well as investigating how the leadership of the hotel impacted on the manner in which the hotel workers dealt with the flood. A qualitative methodology, guided by a social constructivist epistemology was adopted as basis for the study. Data was gathered by means of individual semi-structured interviews, semi-structured questionnaires, and a focus group interview with a number of employees at the hotel. The data was subjected to qualitative content and grounded theoretical analysis. Five main themes emerged from the analysis, which include: Emotional responses, which included negative emotions such as shock, fear, frustration and anger, as well as positive emotions such as happiness and appreciation; a variety of interactional patterns and relationships; increased cohesiveness; enhanced leadership, and the development of group resilience.
- Health Sciences