The City of Cape Town has condemned violent attacks on on a municipal office and fire station in Gugulethu.
Vandals allegedly set alight a car and a carport at the Fezeka Municipal Office next to the fire station.
According to Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, “Firefighters extinguished the fire, but soon became targets themselves, when the group started hurling stones at their building, causing damage to the bay doors,”
The city’s Chief Fire Officer has suspended operations at the Gugulethu Fire Station as a result.
“These facilities serve the community and an attack on it, is a direct attack on the community.
“The thugs behind the destruction will argue that their actions were done in protest, but it is immaterial, because there can be no justification for the ongoing damage and vandalism of city infrastructure,” Smith said.
“These scenes are becoming all too common and it is completely unacceptable.”
Less than a year ago, the Gugulethu Fire Station was targeted in similar fashion, resulting in a near six-month closure to repair damages; traumatized staff and a community deprived of an essential service.
Following this latest incident, staff have again been redeployed to other fire stations amid safety concerns and until the situation calms down, Smith said.
“What this means is that any request for a firefighting response in Gugulethu and surrounds will take far longer, as there are no resources operating from the local fire station until further notice.