Community leader: Masiphumelele residents at the ‘centre of political game’

Thousands of locals are still sleeping out in the open or staying with friends or family weeks after a fire tore through the area.

Masiphumele community leader Howard Mbana wants government to fulfill its promise of building temporary units following a fire in the area. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A Masiphumele community leader on Wednesday called for an end to politicking and a start to concrete action to help fire-ravaged residents.

Thousands of locals are still sleeping out in the open or staying with friends or family weeks after a fire tore through the area.

The sun beats down on Masiphumelele and on a corner just metres away from the site where thousands of homes burnt to the ground, a group of women is sitting on the pavement.

ALSO READ: City of CT finally cleared to use allocated funds for Masiphumelele residents

They go there every day waiting for some indication of when they'll have a roof over their heads.

Sitting with her one-year-old grandchild between her legs, Nophethile Dipha bursts into tears. Her family's been fractured, her son and grandchild sleep at different homes, and at times, she has to sleep on the pavement.

"It's painful because there’s no house to stay in, it is not easy to stay here, waiting every day. Every day, another promise, government must give us temporary homes.”

Community leader Howard Mbana said people were losing hope because of what he saw as a lack of communication and transparency from various levels of government.

"We find ourselves at the centre of political game, we don't know what they seek to achieve, because they are playing with human lives. COVID-19 regulations cannot be followed here because people have to accommodate five families on top of another family."

ALSO READ: Masiphumelele residents to wait a few more weeks for temporary units

The City of Cape Town has indicated the construction of temporary structures can start on Friday this week but can only build about 30 a day.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device