ANC led Mbombela fire emergency division still non – compliant

Issued by Phillip Minnaar – DA Councillor City of Mbombela
20 Feb 2024 in Press Releases

The DA in Mbombela is taken aback by the ANC’s disregard for the minimum standards of community protection against fire. 

On Saturday evening, a devastating blaze completely engulfed a home in Emjindini Ext 13, resulting in the hospitalization of two individuals due to injuries sustained from the incident. 

Reports indicate a delayed response from the fire department, arriving two hours post ignition. The dwelling, owned by siblings, was totally destroyed.

The persistent inadequacy of effective fire services for the Umjindi Barberton community is a known issue, further exacerbated by the ANC-led council’s decision, alongside ward councillors, to reject proposals for reinstating a fire truck and enhancing fire safety measures. 

This is compounded by the blatant disregard from key municipal officials, including the Mayor, Municipal Manager, and fire protection heads, towards essential services and safeguarding the residents of Umjindi Barberton against fire hazards.

Additionally, it’s crucial to highlight that towards the end of 2022, the Community Safety Section 79 Portfolio Committee and Protection Services Committee presented a comprehensive report to the Mayor and Council. 

This report emphatically stated the city’s failure to meet minimum fire safety standards as outlined in SANS 10090;23 and the National Fire Brigade Act, a concern repeatedly voiced over the last two years without any remedial action from the executive branch. The Executive Mayor faces direct accountability for this negligence in implementing measures to protect the community from fire risks.

Despite repeated assurances from the mayor following each fire incident in Umjindi Barberton, claiming progress towards establishing a new fire station and acquiring proper firefighting resources, there has been a conspicuous lack of concrete action, equipment, and infrastructure.

This ongoing neglect and the executive’s refusal to commit to the well-being of Umjindi residents by adhering to relevant fire safety legislation is no longer acceptable. The DA will now consider legal avenues and solutions to compel the mayor and her subordinates to comply with the law and to hold them accountable for their failure to protect the community.