Ramokgopa: Dept working on disaster recovery plan following Joburg CBD fire

Emergency workers remain on high alert as the building is still smouldering.

Firefighters begin clearing away equipment on 7 September 2018 near the Lisbon Building following the deadly fire there earlier this week. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has visited the site of this week's fire in the Johannesburg CBD in which three firefighters lost their lives.

The Lisbon Building caught fire on Wednesday morning. It’s not clear what sparked the blaze on the 23rd floor.
Emergency workers remain on high alert as the building is still smouldering.

Ramokgopa says she'll be visiting the families of Simphiwe Moropane, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Kathutshelo Muedi soon.

“I’ve met with the head of department and management in Gauteng. They are also putting together a disaster recovery plan and also a business continuity plan, so that we continue to support the various clinics and hospitals.”

Ramokgopa says department heads have developed a plan to ensure operations continue as normal in the wake of the fire.

The MEC says plans are being put in place ensure services are not disrupted.

“We’ve developed ICTs recovery plan for various processes.”

The Health Department says it is doing everything possible to ensure there is minimal data loss following the deadly fire.

Ramokgopa said: “Part of backing [up] our information includes the new system that is in Treasury and e-government, so that work has been done.”

THIRD TEAM

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) say they've put a third team in place to monitor hotspots where the Lisbon Bank building is still smouldering.

Johannesburg EMS has confirmed that the fire has been completely extinguished and that all that remains are hotspots which are causing the smoke.

Exhausted firefighters can be seen standing next to the large red firetrucks.

Many of the surrounding streets still remain closed off, causing major traffic on some of the adjoining roads.

EMS spokesperson Nana Radebe says the cause of the fire remains unknown.

Radebe says since eight firefighters were taken to hospital this week, two have been discharged.

Meanwhile, the South African Communist Party (SACP) has called on the Cooperative Governance minister to institute an independent investigation into the circumstances leading to the deaths.

The party has warned against speculation and appealed to the public to give officials time to investigate the deadly fire.

The SACP’s Joe Mpisi says: “The City of Johannesburg does not have capacity with the vehicles and equipment that they’re giving to workers. We are calling on them to take responsibility and to equip our firefighters with resources.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)