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Lephalale fires: Declare Ellisras a disaster area

The FF Plus demanded in an urgent letter to the Limpopo Premier, Mr Stan Mathabatha, and the MEC for Cooperative Governance (COGTA), Mr Basikopo Makamu, that Ellisras and surrounds (Steenbokpan, Overysel, Beauty, Onverwacht) should be declared a disaster area.

Thousands of hectares have been destroyed by runaway veld fires since 25 September.

The fires also caused damage amounting to millions of rand to nature reserves and farms in the Lephalale Local Municipality (Ellisras).

Approximately 25 000 hectares have been destroyed at Steenbokpan.

According to the local FF Plus councillor, Hendrik Venter, who has since visited the affected farming community, the area has suffered a large-scale loss of pasture, water pipes, wildlife and livestock.

The Disaster Management Act affords the Premier the capacity to declare the province a disaster area, thus making provincial resources available to help those affected.

The provincial government should commit itself to fulfilling its duty and responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of its residents and communities, which are in desperate need of government aid.

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