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Another Cape Town fire leaves 600 residents homeless


Another Cape Town fire leaves 600 Masiphumelele residents homeless
On Saturday, 105 homes were destroyed, leaving more than 600 residents destitute.
Another Cape Town fire – this time in the Masiphumelele informal settlement – left hundreds of residents homeless over the weekend.

While no injuries were reported, the Masiphumelele informal settlement is known for its frequent fires.

As reported by eNCA’s Nobesuthu Hejana, 105 homes were destroyed with more than 600 residents destitute on Sunday morning.

Hejana said the City of Cape Town assessed the damage and said it would provide water and restore electricity to the region.

In addition, Gift of the Givers distributed food to those in need.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape disaster management spent an estimated R10 million over December and January to extinguish some 75 fires in the province.

The causes of the widespread fires “ranged from accidental to deliberate”. The disaster management team said it is “financially prepared” for the next two months.

Back in December 2020, a fire destroyed approximately 1,100 homes. A month later, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu – at the time Minister of Human Settlements – declared Masiphumelele as a disaster area.

Eight firefighting appliances, 40 firefighters, and a helicopter to “water bomb” the fire in Masiphumelele were required to contain the blaze.

At the time, the local government received funds from the Department of Human Settlements, while Sisulu vowed to approach the SA Human Rights Commission with regard to the “inhuman conditions” residents were living in.

In July 2019, one person died and hundreds were left homeless when a fire swept through Masiphumelele’s Wetland informal settlement in E-Section.

Speaking to GroundUp’s Mary-Anne Gontsana, a resident who lost everything in the fire, Zimkhitha Simama, said she had no idea where and how she would start getting her life together again.

“We tried to put the fire out by collecting water from the nearby stream and the little that came out of the tap, but it was just not enough. Even when the firefighters arrived, they were battling.”


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