One person has died and an undetermined number of people were displaced after a fire ravaged more than 200 wood and iron structures in Khayelitsha early on Saturday morning, Cape Town authorities said. Picture: Tshego Lepule

Cape Town - Clean-up operations have started after a shack fire in Khayelitsha left one person dead and an undetermined number of people displaced on Saturday morning.

The fire broke out at about 2am from a shack belonging to the man who died, residents said.

"From what I understand the fire started in his shack. We don't exactly know what started it because he doesn't usually cook in there because he has family around who cooks for him," said community leader Colin Monatiti.

MEC for Housing Bonginkosi Madikizela, along with DA premier candidate Alan Winde and members of the City of Cape Town Council visited the SST section in Khayelitsha earlier on Saturday afternoon to speak to residents.

Tempers flared as residents accused Madikizela of using the disaster to canvas for votes.

By 1pm, fire trucks began vacating the site, leaving residents rummaging through the rubble to salvage what they can to rebuild with others already trying to clear up space and setting up pillars to erect structures to sleep in.

But Madikizela pleaded with residents to stop building and allow officials to clear up the site before a decision can be made on whether to give residents material to start building or take the opportunity to service the site and provide services.

"My view is that let us clear the site and ensure that the very people who live here are settled back but also take advantage and service the area at the same time," he said.

The destruction left in the wake of a shack fire in SST section in Khayelitsha in the early hours of this morning where one person died. @WeekendArgus @IOL #KhayelitshaFire pic.twitter.com/m3UHTHl3l8

— Tshego Lepule (@tshegofatsang) October 20, 2018

Madikizela once again asks residents to not build on the site and rather wait for relief efforts. @WeekendArgus @IOL #KhayelitshaFire pic.twitter.com/zBf58MR35H

— Tshego Lepule (@tshegofatsang) October 20, 2018

He says while the site is clear there is an opportunity to service it, add needed facilities while residents stay at temporary sites such as halls. This receives some backlash from others in the crowd who dont want to stay too long in halls. @WeekendArgus @IOL #KhayelitshaFire pic.twitter.com/giWo1EV4xL

— Tshego Lepule (@tshegofatsang) October 20, 2018

While briefing media on the situation angry resident accuse Madikizela of failing them saying that this would not have happened if they had land. While other plead for calm because they need material to rebuild. @WeekendArgus @IOL #KhayelitshaFire pic.twitter.com/YS0d2RM9kj

— Tshego Lepule (@tshegofatsang) October 20, 2018

Residents running through the rubble in attempt to salvage what they can as work gets underway to clear up the site. #KhayelitshaFire @WeekendArgus @IOL pic.twitter.com/Ulec2bXMrk

— Tshego Lepule (@tshegofatsang) October 20, 2018

This was met with some resistance from residents who said they were being fed empty promises.

"How many years have we been living here and begging government for water and toilets. This is not the first fire here and they wait until something like this happens to feed us lies and empty promises so that we can vote for them," shouted Sithembiso Damba, a resident.

"Madikizela is a liar who is capitalising on our pain for popularity."

Madikizela later met with community leaders in a bid to get a sense of what to do with the site once it has been cleared. In the meantime, community halls have been organised for residents to sleep in tonight.

Weekend Argus