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Tzaneen house fire: FF Plus demands answers about availability of water

The FF Plus sent an urgent letter to the Tzaneen Local Municipality’s Municipal Manager, Mr Donald Mhangwana, questioning the availability of water for firefighting.

It follows the destruction of a home in Aqua Avenue by a fire in the early morning hours because of a lack of water.

There were firefighting services on the scene and they managed to contain the fire to an extent, but struggled to get water from the fire hydrants.

Water supply to Tzaneen is cut at around 21:00 in the evenings because of a lack of water and to refill the reservoirs for the following day.

As a result, the fire hydrants were dry and firefighters were only able use one of their own water tanks.

The fire would probably have caused much less damage to the house had there been water in the fire hydrants.

In its letter to Mr Mhangwana, the party enquires about the preventive measures that should be in place for such incidents.

The party also wants to know whether the local fire services have enough water tankers and water storage so that there is enough water available in case the Municipality fails to ensure that fire hydrants have water.

This is not the first time that the FF Plus has warned the Municipality about the availability of water in fire hydrants.

After the devastating fires in September 2023, which destroyed parts of Phalaborwa, the FF Plus also wrote to Tzaneen’s Director of Engineering Services, Ms Olga Tshisevhe, demanding answers regarding fire hydrants near high fire risk areas in Tzaneen which are either damaged or sealed off.

Municipalities are under a legal obligation to provide firefighting services to residents. The ANC-controlled councils are failing to do so.

The FF Plus will continue to put pressure on the Tzaneen Municipality to ensure that the Municipality complies with disaster management legislation to protect residents against fires.

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