Several sections of the Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality building in Kuruman were destroyed by a fire.
SEVERAL sections of the Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality building in Kuruman were destroyed by a fire.
The blaze, which started at around 4.30pm on Wednesday, was described as “too strong” for firefighters to save parts of the building.
Nobody was injured during the incident, but over half of the municipal building was destroyed.
The infrastructure department (housing and town planning), underground archive storage and the side hall were gutted by the fire.
The main offices, including the finance office, political offices, the municipal manager’s office and the communications office, were saved.
Northern Cape police spokesperson Captain Olebogeng Tawana said that the cause of the fire is being investigated.
The fire reportedly started at the back of the municipal hall and this was extinguished within about 15 minutes. However, more flames and a heavy cloud of smoke were spotted coming from the roof of the hall 20 minutes later.
Ga-Segonyana municipal manager Martin Tsatsimpe, who was at the scene, said it was a struggle for the firefighters to reach the fire as it was already too strong at this stage.
He said that while everyone was concentrating on the fire on the roof, another fire broke out in the main library.
“The fire in the library was, however, managed and extinguished in time,” said Tsatsimpe. “It is sad that the archives room, which carried information dating back 100 years, could not be saved.”
Tsatsimpe indicated that a case has been opened with the police and urged anyone with information regarding the fire to contact the nearest police station.
“The municipality is appealing for calm and for the police to be given space to carry out their work.
“We further request the members of the public to refrain from making unsubstantial allegations, but to rather approach the law enforcement agencies with more possible leads.”
Tsatsimpe also applauded the emergency services from John Taolo Gaetsewe, Kuruman, Gamagara and Brandwag that played a role in extinguishing the fire and controlling the crowd that gathered.
According to Tsatsimpe, municipal offices will reopen on Friday at 8am.
Residents are urged to alternatively purchase prepaid electricity and pay their municipal accounts at retailers and banks.