eSikhaleni Fire station ready at last

The completed eSikhaleni Fire Station PHOTO: Orrin Singh

AFTER a string of delays, which kept the community waiting for years, the long-awaited eSikhaleni Fire Station is now complete and ready to become operational.

With thousands still relying on paraffin stoves and open fires, residents can now finally look forward to have the emergency station in the area this winter season.

Over the years the absence of quick firefighting response has resulted in gruesome scenes, with many lives, especially of children, snuffed out during accidental fires.

Without a much needed firefighting facility, residents have continuously feared the winter season might prove deadly, especially for those living in the countryside bordering the township.

ALSO READ: eSikhaleni fire station nears completion

‘The City is excited to report the project has finally been completed and fully functional.

‘We are deliberating on an appropriate date to officially open the facility and hand it over to the community,’ said the City of uMhlathuze Communication’s Manager Mdu Ncalane.

eSikhaleni residents previously faced struggles with Empangeni and Richards Bay fire departments unable to reach burning buildings in the area on time.

‘We are happy that now we will have this emergency resource and it can save lives,’ said a resident.


Including costly tender cancellation delays, the City has spent well in excess of R16-million on the state-of-the-art fire station.

The contract was initially awarded to preferred bidder Nonjenje/Umbambano JV on 26 March, 2014.

However, the project suffered continual delays and, according to previous Expo reports, one of the joint venture parties left the site, ultimately resulting in a breach of contract.

The site was visited continually, revised programmes failed and when the builders ran out of materials, work stopped completely and the contract was terminated in December, 2014.

In 2015 the contract was then awarded to Ziqoqe Construction, who had been placed second on the original tender list.

After resuming work at the site, the construction company also began having financial problems.

A new company was then appointed in 2017 and the structure was completed earlier this year.


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