Mpumalanga arms itself against fires

DESTRUCTION: Some of the buildings that were destroyed by veld fires in Mpumalanga. The province on Friday said it would finalise the Provincial Disaster Management Centre, which would help it deal with future fire disasters. 06/08/07. © Sowetan.
DESTRUCTION: Some of the buildings that were destroyed by veld fires in Mpumalanga. The province on Friday said it would finalise the Provincial Disaster Management Centre, which would help it deal with future fire disasters. 06/08/07. © Sowetan.

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Mpumalanga is being equipped with enough and better resources to fight veld fires and other disasters in future.

The province is about to finalise its disaster management centre that will help it deal with any such crisis.

Premier Thabang Makwetla revealed this when he handed over food parcels to fire victims in Graskop on Friday.

The premier's message comes after about 1000 firefighters battled against veld fires since they broke out in Mpumalanga a week ago.

Many companies are faced with economic losses and many people might be retrenched because of the destruction caused by the fires.

Makwetla, who was accompanied by the MEC for local government and housing, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, and Thaba Chweu Municipality officials, visited the area to meet fire victims and to assess the damage.

Makwetla handed over 20000 food parcels, 50 tents, clothes and 20000 blankets to the municipality for the fire victims.

The relief food and other items were donated by Gift of the Givers, a non-governmental organisation.

"We have also asked Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi to find ways of helping the affected areas.

"The required assistance will be within the confines of government's operations," said Makwetla.

Latest reports indicate that 10 people have died in the Mpumalanga fires while 37400 hectares of plantations and 15000 hectares of grazing fields have also been destroyed by the fires.

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