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Pomona residents vow to stay put on privately-owned land after fire

Over 900 people were left homeless after the blaze gutted their structures on Monday night.

An informal settlement in Pomona after a fire on 30 September 2019 destroyed more than 200 homes and left around 900 people without shelter. Picture: Bonga Dlulane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Residents whose homes were completely destroyed in a fire at the Pomona informal settlement, in Kempton Park, said they would fight to stay on the land.

Over 900 people were left homeless after the blaze gutted their structures on Monday night.

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality provided them with temporary shelter while disaster management continued with mop-up operations.

Despite the land they built their shacks on being privately-owned, Pomona residents said on Wednesday they were not going anywhere. They claimed they had been living in the area for years and no fire or landowner would make them leave.

Ekurhuleni Emergency Services spokesperson William Ntladi said it was not up to government to decide if the people returned there.

The displaced people said government should assist them with materials to build new homes.