Overstrand municipality approves extra R9m to deal with costs of fires

2019-01-25 13:04
Fire on slopes of mountain in Betty's Bay (Credit: Willem Law)

Fire on slopes of mountain in Betty's Bay (Credit: Willem Law)

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The Overstrand municipality has approved more than R9m in "unforeseen and unavoidable expenditure", which was not provided for in the 2018/2019 budget, due to fires in the region over the past couple of months.

The approval was announced by Mayor Dudley Coetzee at a special council meeting this week.

READ: Betty's Bay blaze: Wind, terrain hampering efforts to put out fire

Several fires have broken out in the region since last year in areas like Hermanus, Hawston, Fisherhaven and Betty's Bay.

"The fire season for the period to date proved to be extreme, posing a serious financial challenge for the municipality, for our own staff for overtime payment, for vehicle fuel costs, as well as for external resources obtained to ensure that the municipality had the necessary capacity to deal with these abnormal circumstances," Coetzee told council.

Coetzee also told council that the figure of R9m was an estimate at this stage and may well increase.

The man accused of starting the New Year's Day fire in Betty's Bay, Sheldon April, is expected to appear in the Caledon Magistrate's Court on Friday for a bail application.

He faces several charges, including contravening the National Environmental Management Act.

He faces up to 20 years in jail.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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