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Fire victims living in 'unbearable' conditions

07 January 2016 - 02:12 By Shanaaz Eggington

More than a month after a fire killed two people and left 4000 homeless in Masiphumelele, near Fish Hoek, about 200 people are still living in the informal settlement's community hall. Community activist Lutz van Dijk, of Hokisa Children's Home, said they had been renting shacks on land now reserved for emergency vehicles or their space had been taken by people who had built shacks larger than those they had before the fire."The conditions are unbearable. Temperatures have been in the high 30s and even above 40C," he said."Next to a lack of privacy and washing facilities, their most pressing concern at the moment is how they will be able to prepare their children to go to school next week."Benedicta van Minnen, the Cape Town mayoral committee member for human settlements, said that during an assessment yesterday only 82 residents were found to be accommodated in the Masiphumelele Community Hall and were receiving relief."The city is looking at various options to see how they can be accommodated. The proposed layout will be discussed with community leaders and the affected households to ensure that the re-settlement of households will take place in an organised way," she said."After the fire a rigorous registration process was undertaken to ensure that the legitimate fire-affected residents received building kits and were catered for in the redesigning of the fire-affected area. A validation and cross-checking process followed to ensure the accuracy of the lists of legitimate beneficiaries."..

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