Group collects burnt iron sheets for money after Masiphumelele fire

The iron sheets will be taken to a scrapyard in Epping where in return the men will receive money for it.

Masiphumelele residents are still waiting for the temporary units that government promised them and even allocated money for them to be built after a fire destroyed their homes in December 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - While a group of Masiphumelele residents anxiously wait for temporary homes, some scrap yarders have taken the opportunity to clear the site to make a few extra rands.

Thousands of shack dwellers lost everything in a devastating fire a week before Christmas when a blaze gutted more than a thousand homes.

And now three weeks later, the funds have finally been made available by national government for the process to start to build temporary homes for them.

About seven white bakkies stand parked on the now empty field where homes once stood in Masiphumelele.

A group of men are collecting the last of the burnt iron sheets, loading them onto their vehicles.

It'll be taken to a scrapyard in Epping where in return the men will receive money for it.

They spend hours at the site collecting these sheets.

Eltino Adams from Netreg said he was doing this for money to provide for his family.

Adams works with a friend and they've rented the bakkie for the day.

The men fold the sheets as much as they can to fit as many onto the vehicle; the more they take to the scrapyard, the more money they get.

Those left destitute leave them to collect the last of the burnt iron sheets, some of them sit in the street close by waiting for any news about when temporary units will be put up so that they can rebuild their lives.

The City of Cape Town has given an undertaking that the process will start on Friday.

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