A man surveys the damage in Kosovo, Philippi, following a devastating fire in the early hours of Sunday morning. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Cape Town - Thousands of people in Khayelitsha and Philippi spent Sunday picking up the pieces after devastating fires tore through two informal settlements on Saturday.

The City of Cape Town spent Sunday delivering fire kits and meals to the people left homeless by the blaze.

"Meals (3000 meals today) and starter kits for rebuilding are being provided by the City of Cape Town," mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services JP Smith said. "Keep in mind that to the best of my knowledge we are still the only city in South Africa that provides starter kits for victims of fire to help them rebuild."

Shoprite was also on hand to give meals to residents whose homes were destroyed. 

Aid organisation Gift of the Givers was also on hand to assist the victims of the fire in Khayelitsha which destroyed hundreds of homes. 

Khayelitsha residents queue for food after Saturday morning's fire in Silver Town. Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

"People were in a state of shock, hungry (not having eaten since 3am when the fire occurred), traumatised and deeply upset," Gift of the Givers said. 

"Whilst some families tried to salvage what they could other's escaped with only the clothes on their back.

"Working closely with Disaster Management and SASSA to avoid duplication, Gift of the Givers has prepared a R2 million aid package to intervene with the following where necessary: provision of hot meals, bottled water, blankets, new clothing, school uniforms, stationery packs, mattresses, towels, hygiene packs, food parcels, plastic utensils and building material."

Khayelitsha residents receive fire kits to rebuild their homes after Saturday morning's fire in Silver Town. Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

In Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi, hundreds of homes were destroyed as gale force winds fanned flames in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

At least 120 wood and iron structures were destroyed leaving around 500 people without a roof over their heads. 

"Following the devastating fire that occurred in the informal settlement of Silver Town, Khayelitsha, and after an extensive assessment was undertaken, the City's Disaster Risk Management Centre can now confirm that 342 structures had been destroyed, displacing 1 355 people," Disaster Risk Management Centre spokesperson Mandy Thomas said. 

Residents in Kosovo, Philippi, sift through the rubble and ashes where their homes once stood. A fire tore through hundreds of homes on Sunday morning. Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

"City services are still on scene and the Informal Settlements Department is busy issuing kits for people to start rebuilding their homes. The South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) has been, and will continue providing humanitarian relief. Donations have been pouring into the Khayelitsha Fire Station from concerned citizens. 

About 1 400 people were left destitute by a fire in Kosovo informal settlement, Philippi, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

"The City wishes to thank everyone for their willingness to help. In a separate incident, a fire occurred last night in the Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi. Approximately 120 dwellings were destroyed and approximately 1 400 people have been affected. City officials are still on site, assessing the damage," she said.


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Cape Argus