Municipality details fire-fighting costs

The Overberg District Municipality will be charging for fire services rendered in future.

According to Reinard Geldenhuys, Manager: Protection Services at the municipality, a registered member of a registered Fire Protection Association (FPA) will get the first hour of fire-fighting free of charge. This is calculated from the time of arrival on the scene. However, this excludes the use of the helicopter. This also means that there will not be a callout fee as per the tariff list.

The rationale behind this is that an FPA member, operating within the rules of the FPA, should be well prepared for fires and that a fire, with the assistance of FPA members, could be brought under control within the first hour. The onus to guard the fire will then revert back to the owner, or a reduced fire brigade presence.

The Fire Brigade Services Act does make provision for a person to ask to reduce or waive fees charged after the event. However, this is a formal process that must be followed under the act to council.

With regards to the helicopter, there are pre-determined areas (PDA) that will initiate an immediate helicopter response. These areas are determined before the season and confirmed by the District Fire Working Group. The provincial government provides for the first hour in high-risk areas (depending on available funds), and in the PDA’s the council will provide for an additional hour.

Thereafter the incident commander must make a decision. However, the ODM does not have a helicopter budget to allow for an extended attack. It is our current policy that we will not use helicopters beyond the initial attack unless it is to protect lives and structures.

Current tariffs (to be finalised before December) for the helicopter is R25,000 per hour.

For more information, please contact Reinard Geldenhuys: 028 425 1690, or email

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