Increase in building, transport fires in Cape Town 'linked to protest action' - City

2018-09-16 13:08
(File, Netwerk24)

(File, Netwerk24)

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Building and transport fires in Cape Town have increased in the last year, the City said on Sunday.

And while there has also been a slight increase in the number of fires in informal settlements, almost 50% fewer shacks were affected.

"The building and transport fires are directly linked to the increase in protest action that we’ve witnessed over the past year and include the apparent arson attacks targeting Metrorail," said the City’s safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith.

On the decrease in informal dwellings affected by fire, Smith said, "This speaks to a greater awareness around fire safety but, as the fatalities indicate, there is still much work to be done."

Building fires increased by almost 20%, to 683 in the last financial year.

511 fire-related fatalities

Transport fires went up by just over 17%, with 781 incidents reported in 2017/18.

There have been a number of train fires this year.

In July, 32 coaches were damaged as a result of arson. The damage caused to trains and infrastructure came to more than R50m.

Fires at formal dwellings increased by over 10% in the last year, while vegetation fires decreased by 10% in the same period.

The City reported that between January 2015 and June 2018, there were a total of 511 fire-related fatalities in Cape Town.

It was found that 58% of the fatalities occurred between midnight and 06:00, and almost half were on weekends.

Smith suggested that substance abuse and negligence remained the key causes of fire.

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Read more on:    city of cape town  |  cape town  |  fires  |  public transport  |  service delivery

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