Northern Cape fire under control

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Agri Northern Cape says the devastating fire that claimed the lives of six soldiers at the Lohatla combat training centre is under control.

Three other soldiers have been injured.

Veld fires have destroyed over 480 000 hectares of grazing land since June.

Agri NC says their members assisted the South African National Defence Force to put out the fire.

The Union says they will assist affected farmers with fodder.

Agri Northern Cape’s Eben Antonissen says, “It saddens us to learn that the wildfire that was started on Friday close to Khathu claimed the lives of our South African service men and women. The fire started at a mine-owned property and spread to Lohatla, which could not be contained due to perfect weather conditions for wildfires. The devastation that the wildfires leave behind is enormous.”

The Fire Protection Association operating in the Northern Cape and North West has warned of more fires from lightning during thunderstorms.

North West Fire Protection Association chairperson Eric Stoch says, “The government is not complying with the Veld and Forest Fire Act 1 of 1998. We do not have fire brakes in place in most areas, most government departments are not members of the protection association and I believe the Defence Force is not a member of the Fire Protection Association. We also don’t have Peace Officers, who have been appointed by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment.”

VIDEO: SANDF battles Lohatla SA Army training centre fire: