By Fred Nel MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs:
Fire fighters play a crucial role in the provision if emergency services to residents of Gauteng in life or death situations.
When they do not have the requisite equipment and training to do their jobs this puts the lives of ordinary citizens in danger during emergencies.
Joburg and Tshwane fire fighters have claimed this week that they do not have enough equipment or vehicles, and that they are overworked due to a shortage of manpower.
They also claim ill-treatment by management that causes an unpleasant work environment. These claims arose as a result of the death of two fire fighters in Joburg in May.
It is crucial that fire fighters in our province are properly equipped to do their work and looked after so that they can concentrate fully on saving lives and property without having to worry that their lives are unnecessarily placed at risk, when such risk could be prevented.
Joburg has come out refuting the allegations made by fire fighters at yesterday’s bargaining council hearing which further confuses the matter.
It is time the truth about the state of emergency services in our province is determined.
I therefore call on the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Jacob Mamobolo to launch an investigation into the state, readiness, resources and support provided to fire brigades in the province as a matter of urgency.
The DA believes that the citizens of Gauteng deserve reassurance that when they call on emergency services to respond that they will arrive quickly and be suitably equipped to carry out their dangerous work.