CoCT still working to ensure Masiphumelele residents have homes rebuilt soon

The blaze whose cause is yet to be determined gutted more than 1,000 dwellings when it sparked on Friday.

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

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town on Sunday said it was still hard at work in efforts aimed at ensuring fire-affected Masiphumelele residents have their homes rebuilt in the coming days.

The blaze whose cause is yet to be determined gutted more than 1,000 dwellings when it sparked on Friday.

According to the municipality's latest assessment, more than 6,000 people have been impacted.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato has signed the Local Disaster Declaration which will enable relief funding from national government.

Spokesperson Lyndon Khan said: “With the declaration of a local disaster now formalised, kits can begin to be distributed once the funding comes through and all necessary site reestablishment has taken place. This is not going to happen overnight it is a very complex and intricate process.”

Solid Waste Management Department officials are still clearing the debris, which is expected to continue until mid-week next week.

Law Enforcement officials are on-site to prevent the premature rebuilding of homes, as the area is not yet safe for rebuilding.

The Gift of the Givers on Saturday said it was doing everything it can to ensure Masiphumelele fire victims have food, supplies and shelter following Friday's blaze.

The organisation has joined many others in efforts to provide humanitarian relief, but more assistance is needed.

Several organisations have lent their support to the families and animals affected by the devastating fire whose cause is being investigated.

Gift of the Givers' Ali Sablay said with Christmas days away, teams of volunteers were providing baby care packs, food parcels, hot meals and more.

Meanwhile, several informal structures were gutted following a blaze in Witsand in Atlantis.

Fire crews responded to the fire at about 1:30 am on Sunday.

The fire was extinguished at about 3 am.

No injuries have been reported, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

At this stage, it remains unclear how many dwellings were destroyed, or how many people have been left displaced.

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