IT WILL cost Buffalo City Metro approximately R400 000 to repair a broken fire engine that was damaged by a BCM official when a warning light on the dashboard indicated the vehicle needed water and the official placed a hosepipe into the oil reservoir and filled it up with water.
Only seven of the 20 fire engines owned by the metro, are functional.
The matter was brought to the GO’s attention through DA PR councillor in BCM Sue Bentley.
“More than half of Buffalo City Metro fire engines are not in service during the hottest and busiest time of the year,” Bentley said.
She said that the latest engine to be taken out of service, is “the newest addition to the fire-fighting fleet” – a Mercedes medium pumper based in King William’s Town.
“It is out of service through gross negligence by a metro official, and will cost almost R400000 to repair.
“This misconduct must be investigated and disciplined,” she said.
BCM spokesman Sibusiso Cindi confirmed that they towed the engine to Ronnie’s Motors and as a result of the error, the oil and water caused the engine to seize.
“A deviation report for emergency repairs has been submitted and the matter is still under investigation.
“We are still waiting for the approval of the deviation that will determine the emergency repairs of all faulty vehicles.
“The matter with the BCM official is still under investigation,” Cindi said.
Bentley said the municipality is risking lives, property and businesses by not caring for, repairing and maintaining its fire engines.
“The DA has submitted two sets of questions to BCM council regarding the dysfunctional state of the fire department, and upon reply, we will pursue the matter until all BCM fire engines are back on the road, serving the people of the metro,” Bentley concluded.