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FF Plus demands cooperation between authorities and fire associations after devastating veld fires in North West

The FF Plus demanded in an urgent letter to the acting Premier of North West, Nono Maloyi, that fire-fighting authorities in the province should coordinate and cooperate with local fire associations to fight and prevent veld fires.

North West is currently plagued by a series of devastating veld fires that has already destroyed thousands of hectares. Large numbers of game and livestock have also been killed and extensive environmental damage has been caused.

The negative financial impact on the local agricultural sector is enormous.

A significant drawback in fighting these fires is the lack of joint planning and coordination between local fire associations and fire-fighting authorities in the province. This is despite the associations’ numerous requests for discussions and joint planning with the relevant authorities.

The need for such cooperation is obvious. Limited resources can be used more effectively, risks can be identified in time and preventative measures to prevent veld fires can be put in place.

The fire-fighting authorities’ reluctance to cooperate with fire associations makes no sense.

It is quite ironic that the National Veld and Forest Fire Amendment Bill is currently being considered by Parliament. In fact, this proposed piece of legislation will compel local authorities to form part of and cooperate with fire associations.

The ANC authorities’ careless attitude towards taking decisive steps to protect lives and property against fire hazard is disgraceful.

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