Initial investigations into fatal Cape fires reveal negligence as the cause

Nine people died after blazes gutted shacks in several areas across the Cape over the weekend.

Residents of the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in Hout Bay, Cape Town, help to clear the rubble on 28 December 2015 after a fire ripped through a section. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Initial investigations into several fatal fires, across the Cape Peninsula, have revealed negligence as the cause.

Nine people, including two children, died after blazes gutted shacks in Uitsig, Mfuleni, Delft and Imizamo Yethu over the Christmas weekend.

Firefighters also battled strong winds and raging flames for several hours before an apparent arson attack, along the Glencairn Expressway, was extinguished on Boxing Day.

The City of Cape Town's JP Smith says fire awareness campaigns will intensify in the coming weeks.

"There is one fire that is suspect on Glencairn Expressway and the police are looking into that. The other fires appear to be from negligence; the usual unattended candles, unattended fires that get out of control."

WATCH: Fatal fire hits Hout Bay informal settlement

Meanwhile, the company responsible for providing fire retardant paint to hundreds of people, living in shacks, is calling on private companies to help with funding.

Transception has been working with the City of Cape Town to paint 800 units in various settlements as part of the Misa Umlilo fire safety campaign.

A fire can gut a shack in under one minute.

However, if the dwelling has been painted with the special material, it takes between 45 minutes to an hour to burn completely.

The City says it doesn't have the money to provide free paint to all who need it.

Transception CEO Justin Zietsman says they're doing all they can to mitigate costs.

"It's not a normal PVA paint, it's a special formulated paint, and the raw material costs quite a bit of money. It's R1,710 for 10 litres of paint, which can cover up to 60 square-metres."