The Cape Town City Disaster Management reported that about 3 500 Imizamo Yethu structures were ravaged by the fire which left an estimated 15 000 people homeless. File picture: David Ritchie
Cape Town – Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille on Wednesday declared part of Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay a disaster area, following a devastating fire a month ago which destroyed over 3 500 shacks and left around 15 000 people homeless.

The announcement was made during a joint media briefing between de Lille and Imizamo Yethu community leaders.

"While the City has written to both the Western Cape and National Government to have the area declared a disaster, this application is still being processed and considered," de Lille said in a statement.

The City described the blaze as “one of the biggest fires in the history of the city has destroyed thousands of homes”.

A meeting between the City and the community leaders was held on Monday to discuss the living conditions of the 237 families being accomodated in three tents in the Hout Bay area.

Some of the affected families have found refuge in community halls and with family members, friends and employers, despite uncomfortable living conditions. 

Following the meeting, an agreement was made to create four temporary relocation areas (TRAs) to allow the community privacy and independence before a "super-blocked zone" is completed.

The City of Cape Town “will take responsibility for erecting all structures for the TRA’s as well as keeping a record of occupants”, added the Media Office.

Ten standpipes have already been erected on the Imizamo Yethu Sports field, where one of the tents have been erected, to meet the sanitation needs of the community.

This included chemical toilets to ensure that they were regularly serviced.

African News Agency