Donations pour in as Masiphumelele residents rebuild their lives

Capetonians & some retailers have been making donations & rallying around thousands of residents.

Masiphumelele residents have started rebuilding their homes that were gutted by Sunday’s fire. Picture:

CAPE TOWN - Thousands of people have started rebuilding their lives following the devastating fire in Masiphumelele.

Sunday's fire claimed the lives of two people and burned down thousands of shacks.

Capetonians and some retailers have been making donations and rallying around some 4,000 residents who've been left destitute.

The City of Cape Town has been clearing debris from razed shacks and demarcating the site so that new structures can be built.

There will be two-metre wide firebreaks between structures to reduce the risk of a similar tragedy in the future.

Over 1000 families, currently being accommodated at alternate venues, will move into their new homes by Friday.

At the same time, the Foschini Group donated R50,000 and blankets to residents.

The group's Mymoena Mooradd said, "Not only did we offer to donate R50,000, but also started a project called 'So Good' which empowers unemployed individuals. These individuals have produced blankets which was donated to affected residents."

On Monday, the City said the layout of shacks to be rebuilt in fire ravaged Masiphumelele needs to be changed so as to allow emergency vehicles easier access should there be further blazes.

The City's Benedicta van Minnen said, "What we're going to be doing with reconstruction is working with the community to ensure that the structures are clustered in such a way that there are access points between them so that it will be a form of ring block going forward."

Masiphumelele community leader Tshepo Moletsane, said issues relating to the lay out shacks in the area have been discussed with authorities before.

"The unfortunate thing that is happening within the city is that there's no follow up, it was just raised in the boardroom but it was never being practically implemented."