Ladysmith adds firefighting capacity with a new fire station in the industrial site of Zakheni

The new Zakheni fire station. Picture: Supplied

The new Zakheni fire station. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 14, 2022


Ladysmith – After years of complaints about the main fire station located in the CBD of Ladysmith in northern KwaZulu-Natal, was too far to service the industrial hub of Zakheni, a new station has been opened within the nucleus.

The new Zakheni fire and emergency station was officially opened last Thursday and would be fully operational by Christmas so that all fire and rescue emergencies are attended to on time.

Opening the fire station, Zama Sibisi, the mayor of the Alfred Duma local municipality, said the building of the fire station to be staffed with over 12 personnel started a few years back.

He said the delays in finishing it was because it was being funded in phases since they did not have enough money.

“In the past, this area used to be serviced by the fire station in town, it has since been proven that there is a need to have another one nearby so that fire emergencies are responded to on time.

“With this new station, the entire Zakheni will be covered and also to be covered are all the areas around it.

“It was sad to hear stories that a home or a business has been gutted down by the fire and firefighters came in late, that will be a thing of the past,” Sibisi said.

Zakheni township is the biggest township in Ladysmith.

It is not only home to over 100 000 residents, but it is also home to an industrial site owned by Ithala development finance corporation.

The industrial site of the area is home to big companies like tyre manufacturing giants, Dunlop, Defy and Lasher Tools.

To insulate the fire station from frequent water cuts due to challenges in the district, Sibisi said they have planned to dig a borehole within the premises.

“It would be pointless to have a fire station where when there is an emergency, people are told that there is no water for the trucks.

“It is for that reason a spot to drill a borehole within the premises has already been identified and that borehole will be exclusively used to ensure that there is always p; plenty of water for fire fighting purposes.

The recruitment process for locals to work in the fire station closes on Wednesday. This was after some community members objected, saying they were not given enough time to apply for the opportunities.

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