Thousand shacks destroyed in Cape Town fire

18 December 2020 - 10:27 By iavan pijoos
Cape Town fire and rescue services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said the team was alerted to plumes of thick black smoke in the Masiphumelele area at around 4pm on Thursday.
Cape Town fire and rescue services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said the team was alerted to plumes of thick black smoke in the Masiphumelele area at around 4pm on Thursday.
Image: City of Cape Town

An estimated 1,000 shacks were destroyed after a fire ripped through Masiphumelele in Cape Town on Thursday.

Cape Town fire and rescue services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said the team was alerted to plumes of thick black smoke in the area at around 4pm.

Carelse said the crew from Kommetjie Road swiftly responded to the fire, which was “fanned by strong winds and spreading at an alarming rate”.

He said the blaze was extinguished at 1am on Friday.

No injuries were reported.

Cape Town mayoral committee of human settlements member Malusi Booi said approximately 1,000 dwellings were destroyed in the blaze.

He said the affected residents would stay with their friends and family in the area.

Booi said the city’s solid waste management department would clear the debris, sites would be demarcated and affected residents would be issued with proof of residence certificates for when they rebuild.

Booi said Cape Town mayor Dan Plato has indicated he would declare a local disaster within the next 72 hours.

He said the provincial government had been engaged for an emergency gazetting of the local disaster, which is expected by next week.

Only then would funds for emergency relief material be made available, Booi said.

“This is in terms of a new process. Due to the national government budget cuts, the city is no longer able to offer the extra service of providing fire and flood kits to residents outside declared disasters.”

The City of Cape Town has appealed to community members to donate essential items including blankets, baby food, nappies, baby milk and non-perishable food to the Living Hope organisation in Masiphumelele.

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