THABAZIMBI – The launch took place on Thursday 16 August 2007 at the Kumba Cinema Hall in Thabazimbi. Certificates were handed over to Dr GK Schuring, Chairperson of The FPA, and to Mr Johnny Motaung, Fire protection officer, which confirms that they have been registered and is now officially recognised as the Thabazimbi FPA. The Thabazimbi FPA is the 87th out of 90 FPA’s in the National Veld and Forest Fire Act. According to Mr Tshepo Malatji (Director Forestry Regulation of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) the launch of the Thabazimbi FPA will surely leave an incredible mark in the history of “Integrated Fire Management” in this part of the country. Wild Fires are a serious and persistent problem in South Africa due to various reasons. In the past few years SA experienced wild fires which really touched the roots of every South African’s heart for example, The Western Cape Fires of January 2000. Mr Tshepo Malatji also mentioned that focusing on Thabazimbi Fire problems, the uncontrolled fires that killed people, burnt down lodges, houses, Deo Gloria School, a Car at Marakele. did not go unnoticed and it is their belief as the department that today’s event and subsequent activities of the FPA will turn the situation around. The most effective weapon against the war of wild fires is through integrated fire management and formation of fire Protection Associations, therefore the FPA in Thabazimbi was established to manage and control wild fires. The people on the ground is better positioned to successfully fight the enemy with their resources and expertise in veldfire management and fire fighting. The purpose of the FPA is to predict, prevent, manage and extinguish wild veld fires. Mr Malatji also said that working on fire is a poverty alleviation programme of government and its aim is ground and aerial fire fighting. It needs to be utilised. It can be requested to assist even in areas where it doesn’t have bases whenever there is a big and uncontrollable fire. This programme is more than willing to partner with any like minded organisation in the quest to prevent and fight fire. The government will give all the necessary support required to fight this enemy. The National Fire Danger Rating System that will also become operational in due course will be another tool at your disposal to assist you in managing veldfires within and around your area. Dr Schuring urged the community to join the FPA as it is every single person’s duty to lawfully protect land, property and lives. Fire doesn’t discriminate and affects every one in the community. Remember, free training will be held on Saturday 25 August 2007 at Sentrum auctioneer’s stockyard and the event will commence at 9:00. The spokesperson is Japie Barnard, Fire Chief at Anglo Platinum Mine Amandelbult Section and promises to be of a very high standard. This is a friendly yet urgent request for all concerned to attend. After the training session a braai will be held and refreshments will be supplied. For any further information regarding the training please contact Herman Barnard at 014 7722628 or 082 335 6441.
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