De Lille to request national govt to declare Imizamo Yethu disaster area

De Lille visited the area on Saturday and has now applied for an urgent court interdict to stop residents from building on the land.

FILE: Imizamo Yethu residents rebuild their informal structures after a devastating fire left four dead and scores homeless. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille says she will be requesting national government declare Imizamo Yethu a disaster area following a fatal fire last weekend.

The blaze, which ravaged parts of the informal settlement, led to the deaths of four people, including a family of three.

De Lille visited the area on Saturday and has now applied for an urgent court interdict to stop residents from building on the land.

The Cape Town Mayor received a mixed reaction from residents when she visited the area.

Some community members who had been staying in marquee tents on a sports field appeared satisfied with De Lille’s promises that their living conditions will soon change.

“We’ve got 99% of the families that have agreed not to move back until we’re going to give them building materials.”

But tensions flared when De Lille went to Dontse Yakhe, the section worst affected by the fire.

Some residents, who had already started rebuilding their structures, were upset when De Lille appealed to them to wait for the City to complete its re-blocking process and hand out fire-retardant building materials.

De Lille says the City has spent over R10 million on relief efforts and she will be approaching national government for more financial assistance.

WATCH: Finding hope in the ashes: Cape Town rallies round to help fire victims

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)