Overcome Heights families hope to rebuild after devastating fire

The cause of the fire remains unknown at this stage and no injuries were reported.

A young boy lends a hand as Overcome Heights informal settlement residents start cleaning up following a fire that gutted about 500 shacks. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Fire victims in the Overcome Heights informal settlement near Muizenberg say they're hoping to rebuild their homes before the end of the weekend.

VIDEO: Blaze destroys 500 structures in Overcome Heights

The devastating blaze destroyed more than 300 shacks and left almost 900 people homeless when it ripped through the community on Thursday night.

The cause of the fire remains unknown at this stage and no injuries were reported.

Residents affected by Thursday night's fire say they'll continue working day and night to clear the debris and rebuild their homes so that they can start replacing beds, kitchen appliances, clothing and other necessities.

This resident says the disaster could not have come at a worse time just weeks before the start of the holiday season when people need their money most.

“I feel very terrible. My family has lost the fridge and our wardrobes.”

Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says he'll be in discussion with community leaders to come up with a re-settlement plan to improve living conditions in the area.

Residents have complained it took firefighters too long to get to the flames that were already being fanned by strong winds. Madikizela says this is due to a lack of access roads between shacks.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town says disaster management, NGOs and ordinary citizens are working hard to assist residents affected by the recent shack fires.

Khayelitsha, Capricorn and Philippi have been devastated by fires that have destroyed the homes of thousands.

The City says in the last financial year it spent R30 million on emergency materials to help victims rebuild.

The City says the 342 households affected by a fire in Khayelitsha a week ago all received emergency kits by Wednesday.

The re-installation of services is underway and will be completed soon.

All registered fire victims in Philippi also all received their emergency kits by Wednesday.

The City says R2.1 billion has been earmarked for spending on informal settlements and city-owned backyard dwellings.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)