Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development | Western Cape Government


Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development

12 December 2016

12 December 2016


Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell.


Fire season


The annual Western Cape Fire Season Awareness program took place at Newlands Fire Base in Cape Town today.


Anton Bredell, the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, warned that the hot and dry conditions across the province indicate another difficult season ahead for firefighting entities.

“We hope to limit the events and their impact as much as possible and we have done what we can to prepare for the season ahead.”

Bredell says a critical part of the plan to address wildfires includes aerial resources.

“We have 8 helicopters, 4 water bombers and eight spotter command and control aircraft that can be deployed to incidents across the province. There are 36 runways available and prepared for these aircraft to utilize in case of need. Critical partners include Working on Fire, the City of Cape Town’s Fire Services, and various district municipality fire services, Sanparks, CapeNature, the volunteer fire fighters and various fire protection associations. Without the cooperation of all these entities, fire would be a much greater challenge than it already is.”

Bredell has called on visitors and residents of the Western Cape to act quickly and responsibly to prevent fires and when seeing fires.

“Early fire warnings remain critical to controlling fires quickly. When a fire does break out, getting control over it as quickly as possible is vital. If we can get to a fire within the first hour the possibility of a major incident is minimized.”


The Minister advises the public to report fires immediately and not to assume it has been reported.

When reporting fires in the Western Cape please contact your Local District Municipality:

·         City of Cape Town - 107 or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone

·         Overberg - 028 425 1690

·         West Coast - 022 433 8700

·         Eden - 044 805 5071

·         Central Karoo - 023 414 2603

·         Cape Winelands - 021 887 4446


Bredell thanked the various emergency services officials and volunteers for being prepared to risk their lives in keeping others safe.

“We honour disaster management officials for the passion and never-ending sacrifices they and their families make for the well-being of others. This is especially true over the festive season. Please be safe and be careful.”

The WCDMC has the following tips to help keep families safe from fire:

What if a Fire breaks out in My House?

·         Warn people inside the house to get out safely.

·         Help people to get out and stay out of harm's way.

·         If there is a lot of smoke, crawl out below the smoke to escape the fire.

·         Where possible, have more than one exit from your house, with clear routes to the door.

Safety around an Open Flame

·         Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.

·         Cut candles in half to prevent them falling over and use a candle holder.

·         Never leave an open fire – for example around a braai - unattended.

·         Do not let open fires – for example a braai - get too big and out of control.

·         Monitor weather conditions. If the wind is strong, rather put the fires out till the wind dies down.

General Safety tips

·         In your home, always keep an empty bucket for water or a bucket of sand if possible, on hand.

·         If you have a garden hose, keep it rolled up and ready in case of fire.

·         Have an escape plan, and make sure that the whole family knows the plan.

·         Do not park in the way of a fire hydrant (and remind your neighbours and visitors to do the same).



Additionally, please visit the weblink: for more information and tips on fire related incidents.




Media Enquiries: 

Media enquiries:

James-Brent Styan

Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell

Mobile:                   084 583 1670

Telephone:            021 483 2820