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Manufacturing starts on City of Johannesburg's specialised fire, rescue vehicles

City of Joburg MMC Leah Knott, mayor Mpho Phalatse and  Marcé MD Jan Steyn

City of Joburg MMC Leah Knott, mayor Mpho Phalatse and Marcé MD Jan Steyn

16th January 2023

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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The City of Johannesburg on January 16 launched manufacturing of the city’s specialised fire engines, or ‘Red Fleet’, at Marcé Fire Fighting Technology, in Centurion.

This follows after the city’s Group Corporate and Shared Services embarked on a tender process to procure specialised fire and rescue vehicles for the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS).

Speaking at the launch, Johannesburg executive mayor Mpho Phalatse outlined that the tender process was completed and awarded to Marcé in May 2022, which she notes has a 20-year record of manufacturing quality specialised vehicles for government departments and entities.

The contract is valued at about R178-million.

The launch sees the start of manufacturing of 17 specialised firefighting engines that will service Joburg’s 31 fire stations across all seven regions, operated by the City of Johannesburg’s EMS.

This includes 13 heavy-duty fire and rescue vehicles, two water tankers, one telescopic aerial ladder and one hydraulic platform.

It was indicated that the first vehicles should be operational in the next ten months, with the full order expected to be completed by May 2024.

These vehicles, which will be handed over to the Department of Public Safety, are expected to enhance response times and ensure that vehicles are available to save property and lives in the unfortunate event of a fire, Phalatse said.

“On average, the City’s EMS responds to over 250 000 calls in a calendar year, making the Joburg EMS one of the biggest and busiest emergency services on the African continent. Therefore, it is vital that our women and men of the Joburg EMS will have the right tools at their disposal in order to effectively dispense of their life-saving duties, on a 24/7 basis, 365 days of the year,” she emphasised.

She said the new vehicles would supplement the existing fleet, which is being maintained following the awarding of the contract for this in March last year. However, she noted that the city was still below the required capacity of about 90 vehicles and that it would work to expand its fleet.

Phalatse explained that the existing fleet, as well as this new fleet, will be repaired and maintained through a three-year contract that began in March 2022 and will expire in February 2025.

“… It brings me great joy to also note that these vehicles are being manufactured on South Africa soil, therefore contributing to much-needed local economic activity, as well as job creation and sustainability,” Phalatse acclaimed.

Marcé boasts about 60% to 65% local content; and the contract is expected to add between 10 and 15 jobs to meet the additional capacity.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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