The City of Cape Town’s intensive public awareness and preparedness campaign to highlight the dangers of fires and teach communities how to prevent them is well underway.
The summer season in Cape Town is recognised as a high fire risk period that particularly affects residents living in vulnerable communities.
At the launch of the campaign on 20 December 2011, Alderman J.P. Smith, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, said, “The City of Cape Town has reached the point where, in order to effectively combat the scourge of fires, other measures must be taken over and above investing in the Fire and Rescue Services.”
The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre and Fire and Rescue Services explored various responses to the problem before deciding on a strategy that focusses on five key elements – ‘Education and Awareness, Emergency Preparedness, Engineering and Technology investments, Enforcement and Rehabilitation’.
The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre, Fire and Rescue Services, Human Settlements, law enforcement agencies and other departments embarked on the strategy to mitigate the occurrence of devastating fires.
“Over the last few years there has been a steady decrease in the number of informal dwelling units that were destroyed as a result of fires in informal settlements – from 8 864 destroyed in 2005 to 3 009 in 2010. The number of fatalities due to fires in informal structures, however, remains unchanged and is cause for concern,” said Alderman Smith.
The City is engaging with high-risk communities and educating them in fire safety awareness. Residents and communities must, however, also accept their responsibility to reduce the risk of fires. The majority of shack fires are as a result of irresponsible behaviour.
The campaign is part of the City’s commitment to create a Safe City and Caring City for all its residents.
Details of the remaining information sessions dates/times/venues are as follows.
- Wednesday 4 January 2012 (10:00 – 14:00) Mfuleni: Phola Park and Phase 4 Bardale
- Thursday 5 January 2012 (10:00 – 14:00) Table View: Doornbach and Dunoon Informal Settlements
- Friday 6 January 2012 (10:00 – 14:00) Atlantis: Witsand Informal Settlement
- Monday 9 January 2012 (10:00 – 14:00) Gugulethu: Kanana Informal Settlement and Lavender Hill: Overcome Heights Informal Settlement
- Tuesday 10 January 2012 (10:00 – 14:00) Blackheath: Happy Valley Informal Settlement and Kalkfontein: Vrygrond Informal Settlement
- Wednesday 11 January 2012 (10:00 – 14:00) Kraaifontein: Wallacedene Informal Settlement
- Thursday 12 January 2012 (10:00 – 14:00) Hout Bay: Imizamo-Yethu Informal Settlement (Dontseyaki)
- Friday 13 January 2012 (10:00 – 14:00) Kensington: Sixth Avenue Informal Settlement
- Monday 16 January 2012 (10:00 – 14:00) Simon’s Town: Red Hill Informal Settlement
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