Johannesburg fire is a ‘wake-up call’ for govt – President Ramaphosa says

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a probe into the fire that tore through a five-story building and claimed at least 74 lives in Marshalltown, in the early hours of Thursday morning.

He added that the blaze is “wake-up call” for the government to deliver habitable housing.

At least 12 of those who lost their lives are children. About 50 others were left injured and are being treated at nearby hospitals.

This follows more than 12 hours search-and-rescue efforts.

Ramaphosa made his way to the scene on Thursday evening for an oversight visit. He was accompanied by the City of Joburg officials and the Gauteng Premier – Panyaza Lesufi.

“Obviously, this needs to be investigated,” said Ramaphosa, adding that officials are “setting up an investigation process, which the premier and the city will announce in due course”.

He added that ministers, MECs, the Gauteng province and the City of Joburg are working hard to ensure victims are taken care of.

“We’ve got to get to the bottom of what caused this fire. It’s a wake-up call for us to begin to address the situation of housing in the inner city… Those who have lost their homes or accommodation are going to be catered for,” said Ramaphosa.


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