Displaced Masiphumelele residents rebuild their homes after devastating fire

A fire raged through parts of the densely populated informal settlement on Thursday razing well over 1,000 homes.

Masiphumelele residents sifting through debris following a blaze that destroyed around 1,000 homes on 17 December 2020. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

MASIPHUMELELE - With just over a week to go to Christmas, thousands of Masiphumelele residents have lost everything.

A fire raged through parts of the densely populated informal settlement on Thursday razing well over 1,000 homes.

ALSO READ: Fire destroys 1,000 homes in Masiphumelele, hundreds displaced

Miraculously, no one was injured or killed in the blaze, but thousands lost all their belongings.

On Friday, most residents in the part of Masiphumelele that were ravaged by the fire cleared the charred debris that used to be their homes.

But some were already rebuilding.

“We want to rebuild because there are too many people at the community hall and it’s difficult to socially distance there because of COVID-19,” said one community member.

Thabiso Mangali said that the fire claimed the homes of four of her family members.

“We lost everything, and our family has been affected,” she said.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato said the site would be cleared so rebuilding could begin in earnest.

“We need to clear the site and that will commence within the next hour or so. It will take about two days for the site to be cleared,” Plato said.

READ: Masiphumelele fire: hundreds salvaging belongings amid smouldering debris

The City of Cape Town was expected to provide material for fire victims to rebuild their homes.

At the same time, surrounding communities rallied round to help replace some of what was lost and delivered foodstuffs, clothes, and household goods to local church groups.

The cause of the fire was yet to be determined but is under investigation.

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