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23rd Aug 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

Komani (Queenstown) continues to burn

by Jane Cowley, MPL – Enoch Mgijima Constituency Leader

Last night, 11 February 2022, a fire engulfed the old creamery buildings next to the Provincial Traffic Department in Komani (Queenstown). This is the fifth devastating fire in the town in recent months.

The Fire Department remains incapable of rendering a fire-fighting service as they have no functional vehicles and no equipment. Municipal officials continue to drag their feet and misappropriate funds instead of prioritising the overhaul of the fire department so that their fire-fighting capability is restored.

Once again it was the residents themselves that rallied and transported water to the scene to try to douse the flames, at considerable risk to themselves. Sadly the buildings and all their contents were destroyed. (see pictures here and here)

Needless to say, the Municipal Manager in her new R671 000 vehicle, paid for by ratepayers and taxpayers, did not bother pitching up to offer any assistance.

I shall write to the Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Xolile Nqatha, to urgently request that the administrator of the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, Monwabisi Somana, be tasked with allocating sufficient funding to upgrade and restore the fire-fighting unit. They must once again resume their duties with functional vehicles and working equipment.

I shall further request that steps be taken to remove the leadership of the municipality, including the mayor, the municipal manager and the chief financial officer.

They have repeatedly proven themselves completely inept. They are patently incapable of fulfilling any of their municipal responsibilities or duties to the residents of the municipality.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the Hawks investigation into the last fire which two weeks ago destroyed most of the town hall, including the archives which contained sensitive documentation and evidence of malfeasance and corrupt municipal dealings. We sincerely hope that the perpetrators of the alleged arson are found and brought to book.

In the Kouga Municipality, only 4% of municipal vehicles were working when the DA took over from the ANC in 2016. Within four years, the municipal Fleet Unit refurbished more than 100 vehicles and the municipality purchased 55 new vehicles, to ensure that at any time, at least 98% of the fleet is working to deliver the full array of municipal services.

Image: YouTube


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