The inadequate fire-fighting equipment and skills of the Phumelela Local Municipality (Vrede, Warden and Memel) resulted in the Fred Wentzel Primary School in Vrede burning to the ground.
The school was officially inaugurated on 16 September 1907. During the inauguration, prominent figures, like Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams, the governor of the ORC (Free State) at the time, planted five Eucalyptus trees.
The fire started at about 03:00 in the morning, but the fire brigade only arrived on the scene at 06:30. By then the school had already been destroyed.
Farmers from the community tried to help put out the fire.
The FF Plus finds Phumelela's lack of fire brigade services unacceptable. The fact that fires cannot be fought effectively results in needless loss of lives and the destruction of property.
The FF Plus has brought the matter to the attention of the Free State Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and demands that the provincial government steps in.
Phumelela residents deserve to live and work in a safe environment with proper service delivery.
Phumelela deserves better than the ANC government.