A young boy provides shade for his relatives in Taiwan informal settlement, as residents rebuild their shacks after a fire gutted more than 150 homes and left 400 people destitute on New Year’s Day. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
A young boy provides shade for his relatives in Taiwan informal settlement, as residents rebuild their shacks after a fire gutted more than 150 homes and left 400 people destitute on New Year’s Day. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Relief fund set up after informal settlement blaze

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 4, 2021

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Cape Town - The Taiwan informal settlement relief fund has been set up by social justice activists after a fire gutted more than 150 homes, leaving 400 people destitute on New Year’s Day.

The blaze near the Lansdowne Road Fire Station broke out near 9pm, and followed a fire around two weeks ago in Masiphumelele which destroyed more than 1 000 shacks, leaving around 4 000 residents homeless.

The City’s fire and rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said 56 staff members assisted with Taiwan firefighting efforts, as strong winds posed a challenge.

They managed to contain and extinguish the blaze after 5am on Saturday morning, he said.

“A firefighter was taken to hospital just after 1am as he was suffering from muscle spasms.

Numerous structures were destroyed and no injuries or fatalities were reported,”

City Disaster Risk Management Centre (DRMC), spokesperson Charlotte Powell said a total of 141 structures and 11 formal houses were destroyed.

“No emergency sheltering was activated. Residents are staying with family and friends. Sassa has been informed to provide humanitarian assistance. City departments are on the scene and assisting the affected community,” she said.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu is today expected to visit destitute Masiphumelele residents.

Together Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez, and civil society organisations Zulu will provide necessary support including counselling and the provision of social relief for affected households.

Members of Khayelitsha CAN have appealed for donations to help the affected residents. The most in-need items are food, clothes, bedding and building material.

Drop-offs can be made to the Social Justice Coalition office at 8 Mzala Street, Khayelitsha.

Monetary donations can be made to Ms D Erosi.

Details: Capitec Bank

Account number: 1703929681

Contact Buhle Booi on 073435 7580 for more information

Cape Times

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