The Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Makhotso Sotyu, will officiate the passing out parade of 124 Working on Fire (WoF) forestry recruits, who will help rehabilitate forestry and plantations that have been poorly managed in the area. The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 27 February 2020 at the Kishugu Training Academy, Nelspruit, in Mpumalanga.
These forestry support teams comprised of 32 females and 92 males will be deployed in various forestry villages in the Western Cape and parts of the Eastern Cape to ensure compliance to the National Veld and Forest Fire Act and several other laws including the National Forest Act, while also implementing Integrated Fire Management (IFM) such as constructing fire breaks, fuel load reduction and assist with fighting fires.
These recruits, fire fighters, are community members living on plantations. They were recruited from areas including Kluitjieskraal, Grabouw in the Western Cape and Lebanon and Libode in the Eastern Cape. This initiative came into existence because of high risks posed by large forestry areas in the Western Cape and Southern Cape that have not yet been officially handed over to Cape Nature and South African National Parks (SANParks).
On its full cycle, this initiative will provide 320 new job opportunities at the identified Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries plantations with fully equipped firefighting teams.
Source: Department of Environmental Affairs