Shortage of fire trucks in the City of Joburg raises major concerns

Issued by Kate Lorimer MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Human Settlements and COGTA
13 Feb 2020 in Press Statements

The City of Johannesburg Emergency Services is facing a serious shortage of fire trucks yet the ANC-led City of Joburg administration has no plan of delivering this much needed service.

The residents of the City of Joburg are in this mess because of the ANC.

When the DA took over the administration of the City in 2016, we inherited a broken emergency services department. The fire engine fleet was old, and some were broken and kept at the maintenance workshop for months.

The DA did the following when we took over Joburg in 2016 to ensure that the emergency services are capacitated:

  • Launched a full investigation into the state of affairs in the City of Joburg;
  • Discovered that the company that was appointed by the previous ANC-led administration to provide fire engines was tainted by allegations of fraud and corruption;
  • Cancelled the R161 million contract with the company for the provision of fire engines;
  • Initiated a new procurement process, the Fire Engine Replacement Programme;
  • Planned to place an order for 92 additional EMS vehicles; and
  • Unveiled 10 new firefighting vehicles

The fact that there is a dire shortage of fire engines in the City of Joburg is putting our residents at risk.

This means that when a fire breaks out they will have to wait a long time as the resources are stretched.

Lonehill Fire Station, in Fourways, along with many others, has no fire engine and is sharing other fire stations’ resources.

No Fire engines also means no capacity to do proper training of personnel and no capacity to check fire hydrants across the city.

It is clear that the ANC-led City of Joburg cares little about the safety of its residents.

With increasing numbers of illegal connections in informal settlements and increased load shedding bringing greater risks of fire in residential areas

it is imperative the ANC government expedites the purchase of firefighting trucks and equipment.

I will be tabling the questions to MEC for COGTA, Lebogang Maile to ascertain what plans are being put in place to deal with the severe backlog of fire engines in the City of Joburg.