Tafelsig shack fire leaves more than 50 people displaced and causes tension between the neighbours
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Cape Town - A devastating fire which destroyed over 10 shacks and formal houses at the weekend in Tafelsig has caused tensions between the neighbours which are now seeking to take “further action” against the alleged perpetrator.
The fire allegedly started inside one of the backyard dweller’s shacks after 10am in Moira Street, Tafelsig, leaving more than 50 people homeless.
Neighbours said the man who allegedly started the fire was a drug user and a suspected gang member.
One of the neighbours, Carmen Hulbert, said they were angry for the incurred costs caused by what she said were irresponsible and careless people.
“It was a matter of time before the fire spread to other shacks because this has been going on for a while. He, together with his girlfriend and friends, have been starting random fires at night with constant fights and drug use.
“Basically there is no form of discipline or respect coming from them of other neighbours. At this stage we can not speculate that the fire was started deliberately but what we know is that there has been a lot of unnecessary fires started there and for a while I have had this feeling that their carelessness would result in this, especially because there are no spaces between the shacks,” said Hulbert.
She said some of the victims had sought refugee from their relatives while others were still scrapping for building material.
“None of us have started with rebuilding as we are all poor people with most living on handouts,” said Hulbert.
While the Mustadafin Foundation had been on site since Saturday providing hot meals, blankets and vanity packs to the victims, community member assisting the victims Washiela Davis said the families were mostly desperate for building materials.
“Their homes are completely burnt down are they are sadly left without any form of shelter. Any building materials would be highly appreciated so that they pick themselves up and be able to move forward and rebuild their lives,” she said.