DA demands investigation after fire at airport


On Wednesday, the DA asked the provincial government of North-West and the police to investigate the possibility of economic sabotage in this province.

This call comes after a devastating fire broke out at the Pilanesberg International Airport on Tuesday.

Freddy Sonakile, the DA’s caucus leader in the provincial legislature, now says that just earlier this month the opposition party carried out an unannounced inspection at the airport and came across an open (and unmanned) server room “which in itself posed a serious fire risk”.

Sonakile says the purpose of this inspection on August 11 was mainly to monitor the renovation project launched by the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management.

“However, there was no sign of any repairs or maintenance taking place. There was also no contractor or maintenance company on site. We have already sent a written inquiry through the legislature to Sello Lehari, the MEC, to explain the absence of any work at the Pilanesberg airport.”

The party now suspects that there is much more behind this week’s fire at the airport and the so-called sporadic fires that have laid waste to infrastructure of crucial importance in the North West in the past few years. These include the Christiana Hospital, the Mmabatho Palms resort, a section of the Department of Social Development’s offices, a section of the Department of Agriculture’s offices, the Lichtenburg waste tire depot and the Potchefstroom train station.

“These fires destroy important infrastructure needed to provide services to residents. The destruction caused by fires not only threatens the safety of residents, but also has a negative impact on economic development, economic growth, job creation and security – all aspects that attract investors.

“These fires must be thoroughly investigated.”