The indefatigable Premier of Western Cape Town has stated unequivocally during her address of the Province that cigarette butt was largely responsible for the countless raging inferno besieging the Province. She noted that:
“I believe that throwing cigarette butts out of car windows should also constitute attempted arson. With our winds‚ it merely takes a spark to land on a patch of dry grass and become a raging inferno‚” said Zille.
The Province has been experiencing raging blazes over the festive season. This led to speculation that the fires were set deliberately.
Zille confirmed that appropriate authorities were investigating the fire malaise. In the past three years there have been many runaway fires which have destroyed farms and homes.
Zille said in the last decade‚ about 12 000 fires had been reported every year. However‚ “more than 17 000 fires have already been recorded this fire season”.
“It is impossible to establish with any certainty the cause of most of these fires‚ but we know that a great many have to do with human agency‚ whether by accident or ill intent‚” she said.
The Premier explained that her government has commissioned 10 purpose-built firefighting vehicles to be deployed at rural municipalities in the province.
“This is a huge boost to rural areas where‚ to date‚ the firefighting capacity was severely limited. This initiative forms part of a three-year project to invest R37-million in the province’s firefighting capacity‚” said Zille.
She said that since 2012‚ the province had gone from eight to 26 firefighting aircraft operating across 31 runways.
Zille further assured her listeners that other measures are still underway.