Following the death of three firefighters in the Johannesburg CBD last week when a building that did not comply with the fire safety rules burned down, the City of Cape conducted its own fire safety inspection.
Mayco member for safety and security Alderman JP Smith says he was left “bitterly disappointed at the utter disregard for fire safety” by some buildings in the CBD.
He says the owner of a hotel was served with an abatement notice by the fire department to close down the building as it didn't comply with the fire safety rules.
The owner still kept the business open even after a week of being served with an abatement notice to close down.
The city's lawyers are working on the legalities of getting this particular building closed down, says Smith.
We will today have to take a definitive action because we have been wrestling with this owner for two years now and they are still not compliant.— JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security
The stuff was significant, the absence of the firefighting equipment, a fire hose reel, the staircase which you will need to use in case of a fire was blocked with building rubble and the doors leading to the staircase are supposed to be fire graded doors which are not.— JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security
So they are many problems on that building which made the fire department to say that we are closing you down.— JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security
We have worked with the owner to get them compliant, they've had some time, but it has gotten to a point where we see they are not going to make it, in fact, some things have gotten worse in the past two weeks.— JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security
To hear the rest of the conversation with Alderman JP Smith, listen below: