False fire alarm reports cost Vic Falls council

Victoria Falls City Council management has complained about false fire alarms raised by residents which they said were a financial drain to the struggling local authority.

The local authority has been at loggerheads with residents who last year successfully forced a climb-down on the council budget after advocating for a 50 percent decrease which was eventually effected following government intervention.

The council has been accused of inflating rates and charges by its ratepayers.

The council management on the other hand has expressed concern on the unnecessary expenses it incurred in response to false fire alarms from residents.

While not giving statistics, the city’s economic development manager Ngqabutho Moyo appealed to residents to desist from the practice.

He said despite this, the council had done well in emergency response.

“Our challenge is false alarms,” said Moyo.

He said he could not give statistics of fires recorded in the city and false alarms responded to.

Each time a fire or tragedy alarm is raised, a local authority through its fire brigade releases a fire tender or ambulance with firefighters and rescuers and usually charges are determined by distance from the office.

“It’s paramount that stakeholders educate others not to trigger such false alarms because it wastes resources,” said Moyo.

He was speaking during a stakeholders’ strategic planning meeting in the city.

In February 2020 just before the Covid-19 lockdown, a resident Masauso Sakala lost a seven-roomed house and all property in Mkhosana after two solar batteries burst and started the inferno.

Another resident Johnson Ndlovu also lost all property including a bookshop he was operating from home when a fire broke out three years ago.

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