fire engine

A local chief whip says the COE are not adhering to national standards for fire service provision. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Only 20% of Ekurhuleni’s fire engines are said to be operational

Roughly 80% of the City’s fire engines are either in need of repair, non-functional, or simply gathering dust.

fire engine

A local chief whip says the COE are not adhering to national standards for fire service provision. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The extent of a devastating fire at a popular restaurant has caused outrage among locals in the City of Ekurhuleni (COE), who claim the Municipality has a severe shortage of functional fire engines.

The iconic Pure and Cool Roadhouse in Malvern East went up in flames on 24 April. Residents are reportedly up in arms over the fire department’s failure to adequately respond to the blaze.

They say this is due of a lack of operational fire engines, writes the Bedfordview and Edenvale News.

With winter drawing near, there is an anticipated rise in heating-related hazards and fire risks. The local community are raising questions about the Municipality’s ability to respond to and handle potential fire emergencies.

Not a new issue

According to local authorities, the issue of non-operational fire engines isn’t a new one.

Despite prior attempts to address the problem, recent reports indicate that a staggering 80% of Ekurhuleni’s fire trucks are still non-operational.

The desperate state of the Municipality’s fire service resources has been condemned by DA chief whip in Ekurhuleni, Michael Waters, who has called for an urgent intervention.

Only 37 fire engines are functional

Only 37 out of the COEs 184 fire trucks are said to operational, which would severely limit Ekurhuleni’s ability to respond to emergencies and keep residents safe.

Waters has pointed out that there are national standards for fire service provision that a municipality must adhere to.

He says the COE has failed to meet the minimum requirements that are outlined in the South African National Standards for Community Protection against Fire (SANS 10090).

Rapid decline and neglect

In 2018, during Mayor Mzwandile Masina’s tenure, the Municipality unveiled a revamped and state-of-the-art Germiston Fire Station.

This came with new emergency vehicles and equipment.

Residents are now demanding accountability and action from municipal authorities to address the deterioration of City resources.  

Ekurhuleni does some good

On a more positive note, the City Of Ekuruleni is dedicating resources to boost the township economy, as reported by The South African website.

With a commitment of R9 million, the COE aims to provide assistance to informal traders across the region. This includes tuckshop owners, spaza shops, and fruit and vegetable traders.

The assistance comes in the form of financial-aid vouchers.

“This initiative aligns with our national priority of developing the township economy, and driving inclusive economic growth in historically disadvantaged areas,” said Nomadlozi Nkosi, the MMC for Developmental Planning and Real Estate in the COE.

“Our objectives include job creation and poverty alleviation, addressing critical challenges facing our nation.”