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Shack fires: 400 Soweto dwellings destroyed

A blaze tore through an informal settlement at the weekend, destroying 400 homes.

FILE: A blaze tore through a Soweto informal settlement at the weekend, destroying 400 informal homes. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The residents of 400 shacks have been left without homes this festive season after their dwellings burnt to the ground in an informal settlement in Soweto at the weekend.

Families lost all their possessions in the blaze, leaving them homeless during the Christmas period.

Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo visited the area on Monday, where he announced his commitment to assisting the affected families, particularly women and children, as quickly as possible.

Mamabolo said the disaster was highly traumatic for the families and he was working with partners to make sure residents could celebrate Christmas with a roof over their heads.

"By the time we reach Christmas day the situation of the people affected should have seriously improved so that they can start and plan the new year in a much better situation compared to the fact that they're now sitting on ashes."

The MEC is appealing to anyone who has the capacity to help these residents to come forward.