PMB community supports fire victims

2016-09-21 06:00
Ward 33    councillor, Uraisha Haswell,   distributes clothing to the Ali’s Informal Settlement residents after they lost all their belongings in a fire last week.PHOTO: supplied

Ward 33 councillor, Uraisha Haswell, distributes clothing to the Ali’s Informal Settlement residents after they lost all their belongings in a fire last week.PHOTO: supplied

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RESIDENTS at Ali’s Informal Settlement in East Street received some reprieve over the cold weekend when Ward 33 councillor Uraisha Haswell delivered food and clothing to residents who were victims of a fire that burnt all their belongings.

Last Thursday night a fire broke out at the informal settlement leaving 13 informal dwellings gutted and 30 residents displaced.

Disaster management were on site and provided the homeless with tents for the night. One of the casualties, a four month old baby was taken to the Boom Street Clinic for smoke inhalation.

“I visited the victims of the fire early the next morning to assess their needs and how we could provide assistance. “A plea was communicated to the residents of Pietermaritzburg to assist in any way possible. On Sunday morning [18 September], food, clothes, blankets and baby supplies were distributed to the residents, all donated by concerned community members.”

She added that the cause of the fire is alleged to have been a candle that fell over. It is highly doubtful that a candle could gut so many dwellings so quickly.

“There has been an ongoing issue regarding illegal connections which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency by the municipality. This is a major issue affecting the residents.”

Haswell said that the rate of continuous power outages caused by the illegal connections has become cause for serious concern as this is also affecting the formal residents resulting in strained community relations.

“I have engaged with municipality departments concerned and requested the issue be resolved urgently to prevent further protests by the informal residents who lack access to basic electricity and the formal residents who are affected by power outages for days due to the illegal connections. Council’s delay in prioritising this issue is resulting in the community suffering,” said Haswell.

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