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CT shack fire kills young boy

The news comes shortly after the city announced major efforts to stem the problem of shack fires.

FILE: A photograph taken after a shack fire in Jumpers, Cleveland on 16 June 2012. Picture: Brad Bennett/Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - A seven-year-old boy has died and his five-year-old brother has been taken to hospital after a fire gutted their informal dwelling in Delft in the Western Cape on Saturday night.

Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management Centre spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes says the fire saw two shacks catch fire.

He says seven people were displaced by the blaze.

At the same time, 11 people have been displaced in a fire in Macassar.

These fires come as the City of Cape Town says it's stepping up its efforts to stop the problem of shack fires in the province.

The municipality says it's spent about R2.8 million replacing housing structures for residents left destitute after their informal dwellings were gutted over the past few weeks.

It says 66 separate fires have gutted shacks across the Cape Peninsula, affecting more than 500 residents over the past three weeks.

In one recent incident in Philippi, about 200 people were left homeless.

The city's Tandeka Gqada says residents are being educated about the dangers of leaving fires unattended.

"The other challenge we are facing in informal settlements is the fact that these structures are very close to each other and the materials used are highly flammable so, if anything happens, then the fire spreads across the entire area."

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