Kya Sands residents rebuild after devastating shack fires

More than 800 families have been left destitute after two fires ripped through the informal settlement.

More than 800 families have been left destitute after two fires ripped through the informal settlement. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Residents of the Kya Sands informal settlement in north-western Johannesburg have started rebuilding their homes after two devastating shack fires.

More than 800 families were left destitute when a fire ripped through the settlement on Thursday.

A smaller fire on Friday night has left more families without homes, seeking aid and shelter.

Residents say the effects of this week's fires have been crippling.

Many families sought shelter at a local church where relief packages are being allocated to them.

While companies and concerned citizens arrived to help community members rebuild their dwellings, many residents say their lives are now in limbo, as essential documents such as identification documents and birth certificates have been destroyed.

The City of Johannesburg is expected to offer some aid to affected households after executing a damage assessment on Friday.

Meanwhile in Cape Town, a Nyanga ward councillor has once again called for proper housing for those living in informal settlements in the township, after some residents lost all their belongings in a fire that left around 130 people homeless.

It's unclear what caused the fire in the Lusaka informal settlement on Thursday.

Residents have since been given material to rebuild their homes.

Khaya Yozi says, "We've been trying to put strong arguments to the City of Cape Town, to say these people are squashed here like sardines. Find space elsewhere; people are willing to move while they're waiting for houses to be built for them."