Heartbroken family wants to be 'saved from sorrow' after Khayelitsha blaze
Cape Town - The family of 30-year-old Sango Nqeneka have no time to mourn his death because are they too busy figuring out how to rebuild their lives after a devastating fire that not only took his life, but destroyed 342 informal structures in Silver Town, Khayelitsha, in the early hours on Saturday morning.
The deadly fire left about 1355 people without a roof over their heads, and many with just the clothing that they had on their backs.
Less than 10km away, 1400 people were still sifting through the smouldering embers of another horrific fire that had destroyed their homes in the Kosovo informal settlement, Philippi, in the early hours of on Saturday morning.
They were trying to salvage what building materials they could to protect themselves from the howling winds.
Nomsikelelo Nqeneka, Sango’s sister, said that she and her 60-year-old mother Nozuko Maliwa were awoken by the fierce fire and the blast of her brother’s skull.
Nomsikelelo said she was not yet sure of the cause of the fire, but was certain it started in her brother’s room.
“Maybe my brother slept while he was cooking or it was due to malfunctioning electricity cables,” she said.
“We need help from anything that one can help to save us from this sorrow," Nomsikelelo Nqeneka added.
We appreciate the food that we are getting from companies,” she said.
The City of Cape Town spent Saturday delivering fire kits and meals to the people that were left homeless by the blaze.
Mayco member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith said, 3000 meals and starter kits for rebuilding were provided by the City of Cape Town.
When the Cape Argus visited the informal settlement, Shoprite was also on hand to give meals to residents whose homes were destroyed.
Aid organisation Gift of the Givers was also on hand to assist the victims with a R2million donation aid package for the victims.
Disaster Risk Management Centre spokesperson Mandy Thomas said that after an extensive assessment in Silver Town was undertaken, “City services were on scene and the Informal Settlements Department issued kits for people to rebuild their homes.”
Thomas added that the South African Social Services Agency were providing humanitarian relief, and donations were pouring into the Khayelitsha Fire Station from concerned citizens.
In the Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi, about 1400 people were affected by a fire there, Thomas revealed.
Grade 12 learner Sinovuyo Chithakalo, from Sinethemba High in Philippi, was left traumatised because all her study material was destroyed.
“Even though some of my books and study materials were burnt, I will make sure I borrow from my friends.”