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Relief to fire victims of informal settlements in Cape Town escalated

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and spheres from local government will be fast-tracking relief efforts in Masiphumelele and Taiwan informal settlements which were recently ravaged fires. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and spheres from local government will be fast-tracking relief efforts in Masiphumelele and Taiwan informal settlements which were recently ravaged fires. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jan 7, 2021

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Cape Town - Human Settlements’ Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and spheres from local government will be fast-tracking relief efforts in Masiphumelele and Taiwan informal settlements which were recently ravaged fires.

The blaze in Masiphumelele destroyed 1 000 structures in December last year.

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The area was declared a disaster to enable resources to be allocated for the immediate relief and response to more than 6 000 residents affected by the fire.

Sisulu, the three spheres of government, together with the Housing Development Agency (HDA), confirmed that an estimated R32 million has been made available to provide temporary structures, water and sanitation facilities to affected residents of Masiphumelele.

Some residents will be accommodated on a nearby sports field, while others will be assisted on part of the affected fire site that has been cleared. Erection of the temporary structures will commence immediately.

Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi said: “The City is committed to ensuring the immediate solutions for the Masiphumelele community are implemented as instructed, as quickly as possible.

“Much more work remains to be done at Masiphumelele and we urge the community to please be patient while the City, Western Cape government and national government starts with the implementation on the ground within this week.”

The early hours of the new year saw the Taiwan informal settlement in Khayelitsha also ravaged by a fire that affected more than 500 residents.

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Affected residents have been accommodated in a nearby church while the site is being cleared.

In the interim, Gift of the Givers are on site assisting with food for the affected families. Sassa has also been provided with a list of the affected Taiwan community members to assist with further relief.

Sisulu said: “The basic principle of building allows for a fire break. However, this is not the case in Taiwan where there are no spaces between structures. The disaster that occurred there was clearly bound to happen.

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“We have decided to work as a cluster, including the Department of Social Development so that we maximise our impact. We have also met the community leadership of Masiphumelele who have been very co-operative and very positive in their inputs,” said Sisulu.

Cape Argus

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