Lessons to be learnt from tragic building fire

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated that the tragedy in which 74 people died during a fire in Johannesburg must not be allowed to happen again.

He was speaking during a meeting of the Presidential Coordinating Council (PCC) at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Tshwane on Friday.

The PCC meeting was attended by Cabinet members and provincial Premiers and was preceded by a moment of silence for the victims of the fire.

“We are meeting here just a day after a catastrophic building fire in central Johannesburg claimed the lives of more than 70 people. As we await further information on the cause of the fire and the huge loss of life, we must ask hard questions about the effectiveness of our interventions to improve the living conditions of our people.

“As we grieve this devastating loss, let us learn from this tragedy and make sure that it never happens again,” President Ramaphosa said.

According to the Presidency, the meeting discussed various issues of national importance including service delivery, the District Development Model and crime and “the need to continue enhancing intergovernmental coordination”.

“The meeting…deliberated on service delivery constraints and proposed interventions; the implementation of the District Development Model (DDM); and corrective action plans to address the worst performing municipalities in terms of the Blue Drop and Green Drop assessments of water and wastewater treatment quality.

“The meeting reaffirmed the need to continue enhancing intergovernmental coordination, with a particular focus on infrastructure development and related financing mechanisms in view of the constrained fiscal environment. The meeting also welcomed proposals on the institutionalisation of the District Development Model and the roll out of the DDM support tool that will enable more focused and improved serviced delivery.

“On the ongoing fight against crime, the PCC resolved to strengthen the partnership between law enforcement agencies and the various provincial crime fighting initiatives to address illegal mining, intimidation of contractors and other security threats, and to bolster community based crime fighting capacity,” the Presidency said.

The PCC is the President’s platform for consultation and engagement with provinces and local government in order to raise matters of national interest, ensure alignment of strategic priorities, strengthen coordination, and discuss performance.

The PCC transcends local boundaries and coordinates action across spheres of government in a holistic and transversal manner, according to the Presidency.

Source: South African Government News Agency