Picture: Sumayya Samsoodien/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Sumayya Samsoodien/African News Agency(ANA)

#JoburgFire: Mashaba calls for reinforcements while DA wants two MECs axed

By Siphelele Dludla Time of article published Sep 6, 2018

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Johannesburg - Mayor Herman Mashaba on Thursday said the City of Joburg has requested reinforcement firefighters from the City of Ekurhuleni, the City of Tshwane and the OR Tambo International Airport to help deal with the fire that broke out in a government building in the CBD.

The building houses the departments of health, human settlements and cooperative governance and traditional affairs. 

The fire, which claimed the lives of three firefighters, started on Wednesday morning.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday that it has submitted a motion to the Gauteng legislature calling for the resignation of two provincial MECs over their alleged failure to heed warnings about the unsafe conditions at Bank of Lisbon building. 

Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo admitted on Wednesday that the building, which is owned by his department, was only 21 percent compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In a statement, DA spokesperson on health Jack Bloom and spokesperson on infrastructure Alan Fuchs, said Mamabolo and Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa must take accountability for the tragedy. 

Video: Siphelele Dludla/African News Agency (ANA)

"We call on Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo and Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa to take accountability for their failure to heed multiple warnings that the Bank Of Lisbon building was a health hazard and staff should have been moved elsewhere. The building did not have functioning fire extinguishers, and the water pressure and emergency exit routes were inadequate," they said. 

"Both MECs need to be accountable for their inaction in the face of multiple warnings, which is reminiscent of the negligence and callousness that led to the Life Esidimeni tragedy. The DA is calling on the two MECs to submit their resignations for their failures in this matter, otherwise Premier David Makhura should fire them within five days."

African News Agency/ANA

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