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Joy and hope over new fire station in Kimberley

The new fire station building in Homevale. Picture: Danie van der Lith

RESIDENTS in Homevale said on Thursday that they are not only looking forward to having “speedy” emergency services in their area, but also the possibility that job opportunities will be available once the new Homevale Fire Station is operational.

Sol Plaatje Municipality said that the R1.6 million first phase of the project has been completed.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said the second phase is expected to be completed this year.

“The first phase of the construction included an environmental impact report which has been completed. The second phase of the project was awarded to a local contractor and the completion of this phase is expected later in 2021,” Matsie said.

He added that the new fire station will speed up emergency services to the area and surrounding residential areas.

“The new fire station will assist in the reduction of response times to Roodepan, Bloemanda, Homevale, Homestead and other areas. The services of the fire brigade will also include assisting in vehicle accidents on the R31 road.

“Staffing of the facility will be done once all the work is completed,” Matsie said.

Homevale residents said they hoped that the municipality would prioritise the employment of the youth in the area.

“We are happy that the new fire station will be operational soon. We have been in need of municipal service in the area. Also, the fire station is situated at a strategic point which is close to Roodepan, Homestead and Galeshewe. That means the firefighters will be able to speedily assist in emergencies in those residential areas,” the residents said.

“We are also looking forward to the possible employment it will provide to many people in the area. Our young people in Homevale, including Homevale Extension, are sitting idle at home with no jobs. Many of them resort to drug and alcohol abuse because they do not have ways of utilising their time productively. These behaviours result in many social-ills in our area. We need to train our youth and equip them with the necessary skills to have successful lives.”

The residents said they were happy that some locals were employed during the first phase of the construction, but added that permanent employment for residents is urgently required.

“There were some people from the area who were employed during the beginning of the construction. The contractor was from Bloemfontein and he came with his own workers from that side. However, there were some residents who were lucky to get a job on the site. The municipality, however, needs to construct these facilities with the aim of decreasing unemployment.

“They must provide the required training for the youth in order for them to be successful employees. That will also encourage the youth to take ownership and be at the forefront in the protection of these facilities as it would be their workplace.”

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