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Masiphumelele residents now face cold front after deadly fire

Community leaders said that residents were in need of donations of blankets, clothes, school stationery and food.

Masiphumelele residents survey the damage a day after a fire swept through the settlement on 29 July 2019. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The cold front in Cape Town is hitting one community especially hard on Tuesday.

Over 1,200 residents from Masiphumelele have been affected by a fire that gutted at least 256 structures in the township on Sunday night.

One person died in the fire, while four others, including three firefighters, were injured.

Today's cold front brings with it heavy downpours, strong winds and icy temperatures and for Masiphumelele residents whose homes were gutted in Sunday's fire, it has worsened an already devastating situation.

On Monday, as residents were surveying what they'd lost, the wind started picking up, whipping up ash, dust, bits of debris and pieces of iron sheets.

The City of Cape Town has made emergency shelter available in a community hall and local church, but some residents have opted to stay on the site of where their shack once stood.

Eugenia Siwela said she was scared that if she left her spot, someone might encroach on her section but she wanted to rebuild her structure as soon as possible, come rain or shine.

"I'm worried because I've been standing a long time in this cold here, from 2am this morning up until now, I'm standing here in this cold."

Community leaders said that residents were in need of donations of blankets, clothes, school stationery and food.

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