MUNICIPAL trucks worth hundreds of thousands of rands were burnt in a depot belonging to Uthukela District municipality yesterday morning.
The fire started in a truck parked illegally at the municipal depot in terms of an unauthorised business arrangement.
MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomsa Dube has called for stern action to be taken against the perpetrators.
Dube called on the Uthukela District Municipality to investigate the fire and report back to her. Preliminary reports from the mayor, Duduzile Mazibuko, indicate the fire started in a truck belonging to a private company that had apparently been using the municipal depot for several years.
A statement by Cogta said several trucks owned by the municipality subsequently also caught alight. The fire was eventually put out early yesterday morning.
“How is it possible that for several years, as the mayor informs us, a private company is using municipal property for its own gain without anyone from the municipality knowing?
“Somebody needs to account,” said an upset MEC Dube after receiving the news yesterday. “In the wake of this sorry saga, we call on all other municipalities in our province to wake up and ensure that they look after their premises and ensure that property bought out of the citizens’ hard-earned cash is protected at all times,” said Dube.