The government’s vow of aid to the survivors of the Johannesburg fire has been met with mixed emotions from the public, as some people called for the deportation of the illegal immigrants.
Speaking to the media at the scene last Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the government would lend a hand to those who were affected by the fire.
He said that ministers, MECs, provincial government, as well and the city of Johannesburg (CoJ) would work together to ensure that those who needed assistance, received it.
This included providing food, clothing, accommodation, trauma counselling, hospitalisation and other services.
Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader, Gayton McKenzie has once again called for the deportation of the "illegal foreigners" to their countries of origin to prevent future disasters like the Joburg fire incident.
"I deal with many families who have lost everything when their houses burned down. Last month, we assisted two families in George, without government intervention.
"Today we must hear that illegal foreigners will be given shelter. Let them go home, this is not home," he said.
McKenzie was responding to Ramaphosa’s intervention to assist people who lost their homes to the fire, offering shelter and other services, including medical care and food.
"What homes? We should compensate the real owner of the building if it was privately owned before the hijack," he said.
At least 77 people were killed when the five-storey hijacked building in the Johannesburg CBD was gutted by flames in the early hours of Thursday morning last week. More than 50 others were injured and taken to hospital for further treatment.
"We should stop blaming each other for the terrible fire that claimed the lives of 75 people in buildings," he said.
He stated that Joburg was full of illegally occupied buildings and properties that were fire hazards. He said that there was no better example than this tragedy to ensure that it didn’t happen again.
"Let’s clean up the whole city and give accommodation to South Africans who have been waiting for houses forever," he said.
He urged people not to encourage lawlessness and said that this was a tragic lesson that they should prevent by raiding the buildings one by one.
"Let’s fix our mistakes by raiding a building a day and arresting the illegal foreigners and the people who hijacked the buildings, now," he said.