‘Where are our homes?’ - Masiphumelele residents ask Lindiwe Sisulu

In December last year, a massive fire ripped through an informal settlement leaving hundreds of people homeless.

Since then 851 fire victims were assisted and were provided with temporary homes on two sites in the area. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/ Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Masiphumelele residents affected by last year’s massive fire may have to wait up to two years before they get the brick and mortar homes promised by government.

In December last year, a massive fire ripped through the informal settlement, leaving hundreds of people homeless.

Since then, 851 fire victims were assisted and were provided with temporary homes on two sites in the area.

Masiphumelele residents have one question for government: "Where are our homes?"

Zukiswa Xhanwa said Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu made a promise and broke it.

“Sisulu promised to give us a proper house but we're still outside waiting for them. There's nothing happening, they said they were going to build the houses in March but it's May now. It's empty promises.”

Soon after the fire, Sisulu assured residents that government had a grand plan for brick and mortar homes because after all, they had suffered multiple fires over the years.

Officials had an ambitious task to build 2,800 homes and had hoped to have the project completed by April.

But residents like pensioner Willem van Rooi were sceptical: “Promises are meant to be broken. So, I am looking at another 10 years before something can happen.”

Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements Tertius Simmers said the process of obtaining development rights and relevant statutory approvals was currently under way.

And if all approvals are in place, it is anticipated that the construction of bulk services may commence during 2022.

He added the project was estimated to be complete during the 2023/2024 financial year.

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