Msukaligwa Municipality opens new Lothair Fire Station
The safety of Msukaligwa residents and surrounding areas is guaranteed with the opening of the new Lothair Fire Station in Silindile, Msukaligwa, situated in the Gert Sibande District Municipality of Mpumalanga. The new state-of-the-art structure, was officially opened on 25 October 2021 and stands boldly in the heart of the Lothair forestry area. Areas to be serviced by the station include Silindile Town, Nganga Town, Warburton and Lothair surroundings, N17 and R33 routes which is forming the logistic corridor to Eswatini on both directions, linking Msukaligwa with Eswatini to the Eastern area. During the official opening of the station, the executive mayor of Msukaligwa Local Municipality, Cllr Mkhaliphi, said a fire station was not only about fire fighting but is fundamentally a basic human right and basic service.
The R9,5-million fire station is home to one fire engine and one rescue vehicle, which include a medium pumper wildland/urban interface and a rescue vehicle equipped with the latest hydraulic rescue equipment.
Some of the new amenities that have been included are separate sleeping quarters for the staff on duty, a physical fitness training facility as well as a boardroom.
Chief fire officer at Msukaligwa Municipality, CFO Jaco Johnstone, said, “The fire station has eight personnel divided into two shifts. Future plans is to place two additional wildland fire fighting vehicles with 23 wildland fire fighters at the station due to the geographical area which is consist mostly of plantations. The station will service Msukaligwa residents efficiently as it can no respond quicker to incidents in Lothair and surroundings.”
“The Msukaligwa Fire and Rescue Service has a proud tradition of service and we hope the new fire station will become an integral part of the community”, added Chief Johnstone.
Mayor Mkhaliphi said fire stations are centres of emergency response and the front-line personnel deployed work hard to safeguard lives and property when called out to incidents. “It is our duty as a municipality with informal settlements that we invest in infrastructure that is capacitated with adequate resources to protect our residents,” said Mayor Mkhaliphi.
The mayor stated that the Msukaligwa Municipality's investment in fire fighting equipment is to ensure that basic services are decentralised and brought closer to the community who needs such service and by doing so, the community at large will benefit from the station.
“The community is urged to take care of this resource and respect the personnel who have dedicated their lives to ensure the safety of Msukaligwa and its people”, said Chief Johnstone.
Source: CFO Jaco Johnstone, chief fire officer, Msukaligwa Municipality