DESTITUTE: Four families lost their belongings in a blaze that broke out in the Riemvasmaak informal settlement.
Cape Town - The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) has raised the ire of the provincial and local government for apparently failing to deliver timeous relief to residents of Riemvasmaak informal settlement, near Strandfontein.

Four families lost their belongings when a fire tore through the settlement on Wednesday.“The City of Cape Town immediately responded (to) the victims by providing them with starter kits to rebuild their homes,” ward councillor Elgan Fortune said.

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But days after the fire, the victims still had not received the “soft support” they needed from Sassa and were still awaiting disaster relief. Under the Social Assistance Act, Sassa is legally mandated to provide social relief in times of disaster. Sassa is a national entity run by the Department of Social Development and has a budget to cater for disaster relief.

Social Development MEC Albert Fritz said: “It is simply unacceptable that Sassa is failing to deliver after it announced it would take over the distribution of social relief, which includes providing temporary grants, food parcels and vouchers and rebuilding kits.”

Fritz would be seeking an urgent meeting with Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu to address the concerns over the delivery of disaster relief.

Fortune has asked for donations from the public to assist the families affected by the fire.

“Residents are suffering under the hand of Sassa and are blaming the City of Cape Town for a service which Sassa requested to take away from the city,” he said.

Sassa has promised to respond to the claims and allegations by today, 16 April 2018.

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Cape Argus