Msunduzi has added a new large fire engine to its firefighting fleet. Mayor Temba Njilo on Wednesday handed over the R4,5 million 4x2 engine to firefighters during a short ceremony at the main fire station in Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street. Firefighters put on a short demonstration of the new fire engine’s high-powered hoses. The Witness reported in May that the City’s executive committee gave permission to pay 50% upfront to a Johannesburg-based company for the fire engine to fast-track the purchase, after the City failed to issue the tender for three years. General manager for community services, Boniwe Zulu, said at the ceremony on Wednesday that the process took a long time because the City struggled to find a manufacturer of fire engines, which she said was a general problem in SA. Njilo said in an address: “This fire engine is a highly specialised type of vehicle and emergency response vehicle aimed at ensuring normality of the Msunduzi firefighting services.”He paid tribute to hard-working firefighters. The new vehicle will bring much-needed relief to Msunduzi firefighters, who have in the past had problems effectively attending to fires because of a lack of resources. Last year, The Witness reported that resources at Pietermaritzburg stations were so stretched that firefighters were apparently reduced to filling up buckets of water to dowse a house fire in Oribi. Several sources at the time said that there was only one functional fire engine, while the others were in for repairs.