Communities in Limpopo are concerned that there are no resources in rural areas to deal with veld fires. Community members were speaking at a public hearing on the National Veld and Forest Fires Amendment Bill held by the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, in Thohoyandou.
Mpho Nemavhulani who participated in the hearings says Eskom must improve power supply to rural areas, as lack of sustainable electricity creates dependence on firewood.
“I support the amendment because it brings about sustainable development, if we can sustain our environment then our economy will be boosted so that we don’t have natural disaster like what happened at KZN but our challenge here at Vhembe is the capacity of Eskom to supply electricity, it leads to firewood as a source of energy.”
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environment and Forestry, Faith Muthambi says they have been holding public hearings on the National Veld and Forest Fires Amendment Bill throughout the country.
Residents say there are no firefighters and fire engines in villages and lack of water also makes it impossible for residents to put out fires.
Muthambi says the act will empower traditional leaders to enforce laws to prevent veld fires.
“Enhance this law so that it caters for things that were not cater for, especially if you recall, there was no provision for traditional leaders, now we are empowering traditional leaders to be law enforcers.”