SAWDIS Share Buttons

SAWDIS Share Buttons:

20 July 2011

Unsafe Ekurhuleni care centres to close

Johannesburg - A task team will close down Ekurhuleni care centres that do not comply with safety regulations, the Gauteng-based municipality said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said the team was established after 12 women died in a fire at the Struisbult Care Centre in Springs last month.

Nineteen people had died during a fire at the Pieter Wessels Home in Dunnottar in August last year.

"We owe it to the memory of the 31 people we lost in fire-related incidents to do all in our power to prevent any more loses of life and property," Dlamini said.

The team would investigate if care facility buildings conformed to emergency services by-laws and would issue letters of compliance. If centres did not reply within 30 days, they would be closed.

"Our task team is busy conducting an audit of all known facilities. We are, however, appealing to members of the public to assist us in identifying facilities in their respective communities," Dlamini said.

He said Ekurhuleni-based frail care centres, shelters and early childhood development centres (créches and day care centres) should contact the municipality and ensure that their facilities complied with safety requirements.

Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele said at the memorial of the Struisbult women that if the centre had complied with health and safety regulations, the fire could have been prevented, or more people could have been saved.

"The worst thing is when people who need our help rely on us and we fail.

"Imagine the people who couldn't walk or move seeing the fire approaching and not being able to do anything. One life lost is one too many.

"An incident like this must never happen again," Gungubele said.

- SAPA

SAWDIS: This is great news!! The SAWDIS trust that people living in the unsafe care centres will be accommodated in a safe and comfortable shelter. We owe this to the people living in care centres.