Tswaing has no firefighting capacity and risks lives and livestock

By Carin Visser, Democratic Alliance Caucus Leader, Tswaing, North West:

The Democratic Alliance in Tswaing calls on North West MEC Collen Maine of COGTA to hold an emergency meeting with the Tswaing Municipality to resolve a frightening situation where Tswaing has absolutely no firefighting capacity and cannot stop the spread of threatening fires.

As Tswaing is currently under Provincial administration, the MEC must act urgently on a plan to find temporary firefighting solutions, and a long term plan to re-equip Tswaing and Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality with firefighting equipment, and firefighters. For now, temporary firefighters and equipment must be brought to Tswaing.

This comes after an aggressive fire broke out in the Henk Joubert Nature Reserve in Delareyville on Monday 3 August 2015.

It again became apparent during this blaze that the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality has not supplied Tswaing municipality with firefighting equipment or trained staff to extinguish the inferno.

The residents here have to rely on the fire brigade from Mahikeng – but Mahikeng is 150km from Delareyville and takes hours to arrive. The onus is now on private citizens in the area to extinguish fires when they flare up.

This is absolute neglect for the delivery of government firefighting services and shows the ANC’s disregard for life and property of our people.

The Henk Joubert Nature Reserve, which is managed by the Tswaing Municipality is home to several game species that include kudu, gemsbok, black wildebeest, Hartbees, impala’s, springbuck, waterbuck, zebra and ostriches. The raging fires will not only harm the animals but has the potential to spread to neighbouring farms.

The DA has therefore written to MEC Collen Maine demanding actions that include:

  • A fully functional fire station for towns in the Tswaing Municipal area,
  • That trained staff and equipment be placed at every fire station,
  • That a clear disaster management plan be tabled by Ngaka Modiri Molema           District Municipality,
  • That firefighting vehicles be stationed in all towns,
  • That precautions be taken to prevent fires and that the municipality adheres with Fire Safety Legislation.

The Democratic Alliance believes that our environment has intrinsic value that needs to be protected and will ensure that the North West Province acts to prevent loss of lives, farming land and that the animal species enjoy protection.

MEC must act to avert a major crisis where wild fires can spread uncontrolled throughout Tswaing damaging property, and taking lives.