WATCH: Tshwane mayor Randall Williams officially opens multimillion rand Mamelodi fire station

The Mamelodi fire station is now open to assist residents. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

The Mamelodi fire station is now open to assist residents. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 6, 2022


Pretoria - The opening of the multimillion rand Mamelodi fire station meant that the local community will now receive quick response from emergency services personnel to attend to disasters such as fires or flooding.

Tshwane mayor Randall Williams, who cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the facility, said that in the past residents in Mamelodi and Nellmapius would depend on the Silverton fire station, which is located almost 15km away from the township.

The station was completed in April this year at the cost of R55 million and was operationalised in September with at least 34 personnel working there.

Williams said a lack of fire station in the township resulted in delays in terms of response time to emergency services.

Being one of the biggest township in Tshwane, Williams said, Mamelodi was surrounded by many informal settlements with flooding and shack fires always occurring.

According to him, the proximity of the station to the community was for the safety of the people.

The station has already attended to 73 incidents, including rescue, flood and fire.

There was a concern raised during the ceremony that none of the local residents was employed among the 34 emergency services personnel.

Acting chief of Tshwane emergency services, Moshema Mosia said the residents in ward 40 benefited during the construction phase when at least 33% of the budget was allocated for the locals who were appointed by the main contractor as subcontractors.

He said that post the construction phase "it became a bit tricky to appoint locals because at the same time we opened this fire station the City of Tshwane was compelled to abolish the medical operations because they were found to be in duplication with the provincial government".

He said some of the 380 staff that previously worked as medical personnel had to be retrained in order to be employed at the fire station.

Hiring the locals, according to the city, would have required the medical staff to be retrenched.

Ward councillor Moloko Makole told the Pretoria News that prior to today's ceremony he received several calls from people who wanted to come and disrupt the opening.

"I just told them that 'no comrades you can not do that because that thing is not only for ward 40 it is for the whole of Mamelodi. I tried to speak to the city to let them know about the outcry of the community over their exclusion from the station in terms of employment. I even asked them to at least consider the community for cleaning posts but even with that one I failed to get something from the city," he said.

Mosia said the facility was well secured with CCTV cameras manned by four guards who are able to see the circumference of the whole building.

The fence, he said, was erected in such a way that people can not easily come through.

Community Safety MMC Grandi Theunissen urged the community to take ownership of the facility by guarding it with their lives.

"We must not allow other people to come and take something that has been fought for, for a long time," he said.

Pretoria News