No fire precautions taken by Usindiso residents: EMS

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Johannesburg Emergency Services Acting Chief Rapulane Monageng has told the Commission of Inquiry into the Usindiso building fire in Johannesburg that there were not any fire precautions taken by the residents of the building. Monageng has been testifying at the commission into the deaths of 77 people killed during the August 2023 blaze. Scores of others were left injured and displaced as a result.

Monageng told the commission that EMS tried on several occasions to approach residents of the building prior to the incident, but they were always met with hostility.

“Usindiso never had these kinds of measures in place for them. The community of Usindiso was very hostile and you couldn’t identify who was the person we were supposed to talk to. So who can you get to come and do these kinds of things. In all the different kinds of measures in place, disaster couldn’t approach them, and fire services couldn’t approach them. So, in this case we were left with nothing else but a problem.”

Report by Sashin Naidoo