The civil rights watchdog AfriForum today released a plan with eight hints following the devastating fires in the Western Cape.
This follows after 19 recent veld fires devastated the province. These fires can allegedly be ascribed to intentional arson, which is criminally prosecutable if that proves to be the case.
AfriForum’s hints for the Western Cape community includes the following:
- Join a local AfriForum branch and establish a neighbourhood watch to monitor possible criminal actions such as arson and report these to be prosecuted.
- The AfriForum neighbourhood watch will receive the following support from AfriForum’s head office:
- Medical insurance services for AfriForum neighbourhood watch members;
- Support with the drafting of an emergency plan for your town in case of a fire crisis;
- The procurement of fire-fighting equipment;
- First aid training; and
- The establishing of infrastructure to mobilise the community by way of two-way radios and repeaters in case of a fire emergency.
- Criminal activities should be reported to the local Police Station for further investigation and possible prosecution.
- Members of the community should not spread unconfirmed rumours and messages that may cause panic.
- Join your local safety initiatives.
- Support and help law-enforcement officers in the execution of their duties within the framework of legislation.
- Familiarise yourself daily with the fire risk index of your area.
- Ensure that all premises in the area, also schools, have the necessary fire-fighting equipment.
“Communities should join community initiatives and take ownership of crises in their town. This is most probably not the last crisis that the community will have to face. We have to ensure, therefore, that our communities are equipped and ready to face similar crises in future,” says Thomas van Dalen, AfriForum’s Provincial Coordinator in the Western Cape.