WOF: Claims of firefighter shortage in KZN not true

WOF: Claims of firefighter shortage in KZN not true

Working on Fire has dismissed reports that KZN wouldn't have enough firefighters to contain a similar runaway fire experienced in Cape Town.

Wild Fires - Lion's Head, Cape Town
NCC Wildfires

It says some of the personnel who helped contain the blaze in Cape Town were from a KZN group that was deployed there in December.

This follows claims the province has a shortfall of over 500 firefighters -  with some municipalities without fire stations.

WOF KZN general manager, Sifiso Khwela says there are enough crews on standby should a similar incident happen. 

"That cannot be true, we have enough firefighters who are currently undergoing what we call yellow card training which is the training to prepare them for forthcoming fire season." 

"We going to be training something like 751 firefighters as we prepared for the forthcoming fire season," he adds. 

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has praised all firefighters for their efforts in containing the Table Mountain fire. 

Yesterday, Winde visited the Central Fire Station on Roeland Street, where he engaged with the command team. 

READ: Motorists paying more for fuel, as inflation quickens slightly

It's been four days since the blaze began raging, but it's now largely contained. 

At least six firefighters have sustained injuries so far.

Injuries to members of the public were limited to nine people being taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation.

Speaking during yesterday's visit -  Winde wished the crews well as they work to fully extinguish all the fire lines. 

"There's still flare-ups in areas and firefighters are still fighting some of the thick bush and it's really amazing to see all the firemen and women who are giving their time to save our mountain and of course keep us all safe." 

The incident commander overseeing the last few days' operations – Arlene Wehr - also had praise for the people of Cape Town. " It's been a crazy few days but we have it under control and also thank you to the community for the support and also the other agencies. It's tremendous." 

New Newswatch podcast banner red

Show's Stories