Cape Town firefighters battled 3 166 incidents in two months

Wildfires burn in Schapenberg, Somerset West. (File, Wallace du Plessis, News24)
Wildfires burn in Schapenberg, Somerset West. (File, Wallace du Plessis, News24)

Cape Town – Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Thursday that the City of Cape Town's firefighters have been called out to 3 166 incidents since the start of December. 

De Lille was speaking at the city's first full council meeting of the year and reiterated the city's call for any information about how the blazes started.

"I would like to extend a reward of R25 000 for information which leads to the apprehension of any person initiating or aiding the spread the fires that have affected the city," she said. 

De Lille also said the city had received an additional R254m income from higher than expected water sales. 

"But we can't use this money to buy more water. Because of your abuse, we will all suffer," De Lille said. 

The city is expected to increase water restrictions on Thursday. 

News24 reported on Friday that the city believes causes of fires in Vredehoek were linked to homeless people.  

"That was the assessment of officials on site, yes," the city's mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said.

"...fires were apparently started by [people] sleeping in the bushes there."  

Western Cape disaster management head Colin Deiner said on Thursday that 99% of fires were started by people.

"Most of the time it is only because of negligence," Deiner said.

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