City of Joburg only has 6 working fire engines

2019-07-04 16:21
Fire engines. (Supplied)

Fire engines. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The City of Johannesburg is currently facing a crisis when it comes to its firefighting capabilities. 

The City's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) spokesperson, Nana Radebe, confirmed to News24 that the municipality had 12 fire engines at the moment, six of which have gone for repairs. They are expected back next week.

One Johannesburg resident was left fuming on Wednesday after his Linden house was gutted by a fire. 

The City had to rely on a fire engine from Cosmo City, which is 20km away and one from Florida fire station that is 10km away, to battle the blaze.

According to Maggs Naidu, the Roosevelt Park fire station does not have a fire engine to assist nearby residents.

Naidu was in Limpopo and his wife was at work when the fire broke out.

"It is a disgrace for the City. It is outrageous for a popular city to have six fire engines. People are dying because of its incompetence, people are being neglected by the City. Fortunately, no one died when the fire started in my house." 

The cause of the fire is being investigated. 

Naidu said his family had received humanitarian aid from people who heard about the fire.

"My family is OK, and we are capable of surviving this. What about those who can't afford insurance? How does it happen that it took 40 minutes for the fire engine to respond? When it arrived, it took them another 10 minutes to pressurise the water.

"Imagine if they were responding to a shack fire, they would have found people dead," Naidu said.

READ: Bank of Lisbon building to be demolished following fatal 2018 fire

Radebe said the City relied on neighbouring municipalities, such as Ekurhuleni and Tshwane, to assist in fighting big fires.

"We are aware of the incident that happened on Wednesday. There are plans to acquire an extra 29 fire engines for the entire city. Some of the ones we have are old and constantly go for repairs. Last year, we acquired four engines to assist the eight we had, which are old and have been in use for the past 15 to 20 years.

"We have a crisis. We have removed all our fire engines from responding to medical calls. They are now dealing with fire incidents and motor vehicle accidents," said Radebe. 

She added there were glitches to secure a tender for more fire engines.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba confirmed in a tweet that the City would be acquiring more fire engines. 

In September 2018, concerns were raised about the City's firefighting capabilities when the Bank of Lisbon building in the city centre went up in flames, claiming the lives of firefighters Simphiwe Moropane, 28, Mduduzi Ndlovu, 40, and Khathutshelo Muedi, 37.

Read more on:    city of joburg  |  johannesburg ­  |  fires  |  service delivery

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.