President Cyril Ramaphosa eady for questioning. Picture: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Ekurhuleni - The ANC on Friday denied allegations President Cyril Ramaphosa took no action after a shack caught fire in Tembisa earlier on Friday.

Earlier, reports emerged that a shack caught fire in the Tswelopele informal settlement in Tembisa as Ramaphosa was addressing residents during the Thuma Mina campaign.

According to News24, Ramaphosa was addressing residents on the need to electrify the area and provide housing when a shack caught fire a short distance away. 

While residents rushed to help put the fire out, Ramaphosa and his delegation left for the next stop in their campaign. 

This drew the ire of the Democratic Alliance (DA), which accused Ramaphosa of "turning his back" on the fire and labelled the move as "dreadfully uncaring and highly hypocritical".

"While Ramaphosa was in the area to make more empty promises about services, the clearest sign of a failing ANC government revealed itself right behind him in the form of a shack fire.

READ: #ThumaMina: The ANC is back and powerful, says Ramaphosa

"The DA calls on Ramaphosa to apologise to this community and to give them detailed timelines on when their community will receive services without delay."

The ANC has since reacted to this, denying the DA's claims and calling its criticism nothing more than a "desperate attempt to stoop as low as is necessary in a poor attempt to remain relevant".

"Following the fire breakout, president Ramaphosa immediately instructed the Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni Mzwandile Masina to attend to the unfortunate incident and ensure that the situation is stabilized, the safety of the families is secured and the necessary relief is dispersed.

"The leadership of the ANC in Ekurhuleni wasted no time in attending to the situation, coordinating food parcels and blankets for the affected families.

The party then explained that emergency services soon arrived to put the fire out while the city's human settlements department carried out measures to ensure the affected families were temporarily housed. 

"It is unfortunate that the first point action for the desperate DA was to issue a media statement instead of coming to the aid of the community. The DA, which is never on the ground, was in such a hurry to score empty moral points while deliberately misrepresenting facts to suite their narrow agenda.

"Today’s incident, unfortunate as it was, to the contrary, validates the ANC’s reasons to launch the Thuma Mina Campaign to decisively intervene on issues affecting society," the party said.