Lack of political will fans Northern Cape fires
12 October 2021
It is a complete disgrace that while vast tracts of land were damaged and animals died in a fire that raged since Saturday in and around the Frances Baard municipal district, cosmetic changes to Kimberley ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit yesterday, were more important for the government than helping to fight the fires.
Like with the previous fires in the regions, thousands of hectares of land have been razed and untold amounts of wildlife killed and injured, as the flames stretched from outside Kimberley to Warrenton and in the direction of Barkly West.
While all this was going on, EPWP workers and municipal officials from Sol Plaatje tried to give parts of the city, where President Ramaphosa would be visiting, a quick facelift, ferrying loads of rubbish away on lorries and getting to work on long-broken infrastructure.
All this superficial ANC activity and yet neither local nor provincial government could integrate their services to ensure that lorry drivers were availed to take out the water truck and fire engine that remained parked at Frances Baard District municipal office (see pic here).
The DA previously highlighted the very same issue at the end of September, during the last massive blaze, but still government turns a blind eye to integrated disaster management, when they know full well that the risk of massive, out-of-control fires remains a real threat.
These are the actions of an uncaring ANC government. A government that has zero political will to fight fires. A government that does not value farmers and our abundant farmland and wildlife. A government that cares only about retaining power, at any cost, no matter how selfish, immoral and corrupt their actions, or lack of actions may be.
We need to bring a change in government on 1 November, before the entire Northern Cape turns to ashes.
Issued by Dirk Stubbe, DA Northern Cape Constituency Head for Diamond North, 12 October 2021