The IFP has called on the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government to take proactive steps to ensure that communities in informal settlement do not become ready prey for fires as the Province gets ready for winter. The party said government must do this by training communities to be able to fight fires on their own.
In a statement issued today by its KwaZulu-Natal Spokesperson on Human Settlements Joshua Mazibuko, the IFP said: “It is a known fact that almost every year at this time threats of fires in the informal settlements are always high, since everyone do their best to keep themselves warm in the face of bitter winter cold.
“Unfortunately government reacts to such disasters after they have happened. Mostly this is after much damage has been done because fire-fighters very late. In some cases government fails to come to the rescue because of lack of capacity to do so.
“Our view is that government must beef up their capacity to deal with such crises by deploying bakkies mounted with firefighting equipment in fire-stations. In addition, government must ensure that, while people are waiting for their decent houses, they are assisted to build their temporary shelters using non-inflammatory equipment instead of plastic and cardboards and such other inflammatory stuff.
“Above that, it must initiate programs to train communities in fire-fighting and ensure that each locality does have a fire-fighting equipment kept closer for prompt use in the event of fire outbreak.
"Having said this, we acknowledge that these are just temporary measures. The ultimate panacea lies in the government showing urgency in fulfilling the promises it made to build decent houses for the poor as well as provide them with electricity and water."
Issued by: M. Joshua Mazibuko; MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlements, 083 083 992 6135
For Media Queries:
Mr Phendulani Biyase, IFP KZN Legislature Media Officer, 073 024 5675