Residents of Alex rebuild their homes after a blaze destroyed over 500 shacks last week. Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele announced he would provide residents affected by the blaze their IDs and birth certificates. File picture: Itumeleng English African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA - Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele will on Friday visit the community of Alexandra in Johannesburg to issue identity documents to the shack dwellers whose homes were recently gutted by an inferno.

"Officials of the home affairs department have been on the ground, together with other stakeholders to assess the level of required support," said Cwele's spokesperson Siya Qoza.
 
"Home Affairs is verifying the details of the members of the affected community against the National Population Register. Community members whose details have been verified will receive their documents tomorrow."
 
The department has waived fees that are required upon second application for identity documents. 

"This will allow for the victims of the fire to apply for the home affairs documents for free. The department is working expeditiously to ensure that members of the affected community receive enabling documents to rebuild their lives as quickly as possible," said Qoza.

Thousands of people were left homeless after at least 500 shacks were gutted by a blaze which engulfed the densely populated area on Thursday last week.

The ANC in Gauteng has appealed to communities to assist the Alexandra residents following the disaster.

"The ANC Gauteng province calls on Gauteng residents to open their hearts and extend a hand of generosity to residents of Alexandra whose homes were destroyed following shack fires," provincial spokeswoman Tasneem Motara said.

"Any form of help that can help alleviate the impact of the destruction left behind by the blaze will go a long way. Donations of clothing, non-perishable foodstuff, blankets, etc will greatly assist."

On Saturday and Sunday, members of the Incredible Happenings Ministries led by prophet Paseka "Mboro" Motsoeneng visited the Alexandra community, bringing building material and assisting desperate families rebuild their homes.

"I was also here on Saturday, visiting this community, and I spoke to the community leader. The community leader identified three families which desperately needed help. Now I have returned to Alexandra so that I can personally help in building these shacks," said Mboro.

The televangelist also held "special prayer sessions" for the victims of the blaze. The Incredible Happenings Ministries' assistance focused on child-headed families and the aged, among others.

On Sunday, the Economic Freedom Fighters in Gauteng lambasted Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba and human settlements MEC Uhuru Moiloa for "the lack of measures" to shield "black and poor" communities.

"The EFF notes with dismay that the City of Johannesburg still has only 10 fire engines out of the 29 desperately needed to service the city’s 31 fire stations and over five million citizens. Black and poor residents of Johannesburg are the ones exposed to this massive safety risk and the city's turning a blind eye to the unsafe situation is viewed as anti-black [people]," said Mandisa Mashego, Gauteng EFF chairperson.

African News Agency (ANA)