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Minister, MEC visit fire-ravaged community

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu visited Masiphumelele residents to try and assist them after a fire razed about 1000 shacks before Christmas. Some residents have been sleeping on an open field and others with friends and relatives. Sislulu was addressed by community leaders Lunga Mathambo (red T-shirt) and Howard Mbana (white hat). Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu visited Masiphumelele residents to try and assist them after a fire razed about 1000 shacks before Christmas. Some residents have been sleeping on an open field and others with friends and relatives. Sislulu was addressed by community leaders Lunga Mathambo (red T-shirt) and Howard Mbana (white hat). Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 5, 2021

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Cape Town - Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, accompanied by her provincial counterpart MEC Sharna Fernandez on Monday brought relief to hundreds of homeless Masiphumelele residents following a devastating fire before Christmas.

Zulu and Fernandez provided relief in the form of clothing, food, blankets and mattresses as well as counselling for affected residents after more than 1 000 shacks were burnt, leaving 4 000 residents homeless.

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Zulu is expected to visit Taiwan Informal Settlement in Khayelitsha today to provide support to about 400 people affected by a fire at the weekend.

Zulu said the three spheres of government should have a coordinated approach to deal with disasters.

“We have been giving the usual assistance that the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) gives out, such as food parcels, and also there were people who were given a once-off cash payment to the value of R1 864 for people affected by the disaster.”

Zulu said the community had complained about a lack of communication between itself and government.

“The community has identified a big sports field as an alternative to build houses and they have complained about the lack of communication between them, leaders, provincial and local government.

“We are here to work with other departments so that we can have a coordinated approach to solving the problem. The provincial and local government should always be able to respond quickly to disaster management issues.

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“In the meeting we had with community members they raised an issue of their burnt Identity Books and SASSA cards and that also needs a coordinated approach,” she said.

Fernandez said the provincial DSD, with the support of several humanitarian relief organisations provided the necessary support, including counselling and social distress relief for affected households.

“The DSD also ensured that they identified the vulnerable groups such as older persons, persons with disabilities, as well as children in need and coordinated the various relief efforts.

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“DSD social workers and community development practitioners have visited all affected sites daily, to provide psycho-social support to the affected communities,” said Fernandez.

[email protected]

Cape Times

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