WC's Taiwan informal settlement residents wait on Sisulu's fire assistance plan

Three-hundred-and-fifty homes were gutted, leaving more than 1,000 residents homeless after the fire on New Year's Day.

FILE: Minister of Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Residents in the Taiwan informal settlement in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape are awaiting the outcomes of a meeting held by the Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, as well as provincial and local government officials to decide on how to help residents affected by a fire.

Three-hundred-and-fifty homes were gutted, leaving more than 1,000 residents homeless following the fire on New Year's Day.

READ: Damages being assessed after fire guts homes in Khayelitsha

Authorities met on Tuesday to devise a long-term solution for the fire-stricken area, and included discussions to decide whether the settlement would be declared a local disaster area.

This would enable national funding to be made available in order to help residents get back on their feet and for proper houses to be built.

Spokesperson Steve Motale said: "The meeting is aimed at finding a lasting solution."

ALSO READ: Sisulu wants Taiwan Informal Settlement to be declared disaster area

Motale said housing needs should be addressed as the issuing of fire kits in areas prone to fires was costing government more in the long run.

"The minister is proposing the erection of permanent structures because supplying people with service kits...These fires keep replicating themselves and of course this is a total waste [of government funding]."

Several organisations are on the ground to assist families with meals, clothing, and other means of humanitarian aid.

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