Fire breaks out at Johannesburg metro centre caused no structural damage
A fire broke on the ground floor of the Johannesburg metro centre on Friday, 3 March 2023. The City of Johannesburg's Emergency Services department (CoJEMS) has confirmed it evacuated the city's metro centre after a fire broke out on Friday morning. CoJEMS spokesperson Xolile Khumalo said the fire was reported shortly before 08h00am on the council building's ground floor.”
“Everyone is safe and no injuries have been reported. We are evacuating the building. EMS technicians are ventilating the building and are investigating what happened,” she said.
Johannesburg city manager, Floyd Brink, said the city's emergency services had managed to bring the fire under control. “Three fire trucks were dispatched and the fire was brought under control within a short time. The smoke from the fire travelled to higher floors and all floors were checked but there was no fire on the 11th floor or 13th floor. The metro centre building is safe and there has been no structural or related damage,” Brink said.
Brink has assured staff no structural damage was caused by a fire in the city's metro centre on Friday and that the building is safe. Brink said the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) will clean the building and ensure it is ready for occupation on Monday. “Employees are urged not to panic and to report for duty on Monday,” Brink said.
The city's MMC for group corporate and shared services, Loyiso Masuku, confirmed the fire and said the blaze had been safely contained. “We have agreed, together with management, that today we will not allow employees into the building. They will be permitted to work from home so we are comfortable smoke is cleared in the building,” she said.
Masuku said there would be an investigation into the cause of the fire.
Mayors ignored calls over 'unsafe' Johannesburg council building; speaker to take action after fire Johannesburg Speaker Colleen Makhubele will bring a compliance enforcement report to council after a fire broke out in the council building on Friday. In a notice issued on Sunday evening, Makhubele said after repeatedly calling for urgent intervention at the building, she was again calling on Johannesburg Mayor Thapelo Amad and executives to act with urgency by evacuating employees, councillors and visitors from the "unsafe building".
"In several attempts, I have reached out to the previous executive mayor, Councillor Mpho Phalatse, with no response at all, and now I have subsequently yet again reached out to the current executive mayor (Amad)... I have in no uncertain terms been pleading to the executive for an urgent action plan to evacuate all employees within the Metro Centre. This is the limitation of oversight and trying to hold executives accountable and they deliberately ignore implementation of oversight recommendations."
Makhubele continued, “The only option left now is to bring to council, as per the powers of the speaker, a compliance enforcement report in the same manner that we dealt with the Floyd Brink report that forced remedial actions and justice to be administered in countering the clear abuse of power.”
According to her, hardly any repairs and maintenance have been carried out. Makhubele said this rendered the council building non-compliant with Occupational Health and Safety in the Workplace and electrical requirements, among other building legislation.
"Following reports issued by relevant oversight Committees, Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) and Emergency Management Services (EMS), it is no secret that the City of Johannesburg Metro Centre is very old and the building requires lots of maintenance and repair."
Makhubele expressed gratitude that no injuries or fatalities were recorded and commended EMS for its speedy response to contain the fire.
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