Dysfunctional Makhado Fire Department ineffective in attempts to save fire-gutted House

The DA in Limpopo has written to the COGHSTA portfolio committee chairperson, Kedibone Lebea, requesting a meeting with the Vhembe District Municipality on the collapse of fire and emergency services in the district.

This follows Makhado Fire Department’s failure to adequately respond after a house at the corner of Flamboyant and Maroela street caught fire last night. See photo here. The Makhado Fire Department was called but was unable to control the fire because it has no working fire trucks.

The one truck has a brake problem and has been awaiting a requisition order from the district municipality for over two weeks, while the other fire truck was taken to Polokwane for service and has been kept there for over two weeks due to non-payment by the district municipality.

The DA has also previously raised concern over the district municipality’s failure to deal with water pump theft as well as negligence over maintaining and repairing broken and vandalised fire hydrants.

These dysfunctional fire hydrants also pose a serious risk to businesses and communities in Makhado in the event of a fire incident.

The fact is that the absence of even a single operational fire truck is putting the lives of our residents at risk. Increased loadshedding and colder nights bring greater risk of fires, especially in densely populated areas.

Firefighting is listed as a local government function in Schedule 4 part B of the Constitution and both the Makhado Local Municipality and Vhembe District have a responsibility to ensure they safeguard their residents from fires.

Our communities depend on fully functional fire stations to provide essential disaster services, therefore, failure to provide adequate resources might have devastating effects in the future.

The DA is committed to ensuring the safety of residents. Fire stations must be well resourced in order to save the property and lives of residents when required.

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