Cost of Helderberg fire damage expected to increase

Government is now considering boosting legislation governing fire incidents in the country after minister’s visit to affected farms.

Working on Fire firefighters battle a blaze in the Helderberg in the Western Cape. Picture: @wo_fire/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The damage from last week’s devastating fire in the Helderberg is estimated to be at over R50 million.

Government is now considering boosting legislation governing fire incidents in the country.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen visited Somerset West where widespread damage has been done to farms and property.

City of Cape Town officials say that they have responded to over 600 fires since last Tuesday.

The cost of last week’s fire is estimated at R54 million, and is expected to increase.

Minister Van Rooyen says that steps will be taken to curb the occurrence of fires.

“We need to do a lot in as far as legislation is concerned, to make sure that we introduce punitive measures to discourage people from engaging in such activities. We’ll have to beef up our awareness drive on this problem.”

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the blaze.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)