Imizamo Yethu fire one of Cape Town's worst – deputy mayor

2017-03-13 19:47
Aviwe Matiwane overlooks the place where her house used to be. (Paul Herman, News24)

Aviwe Matiwane overlooks the place where her house used to be. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town – The fire in Imizamo Yethu informal settlement on Saturday and Sunday is possibly one of the worst fires the city has seen, the deputy mayor of Cape Town said on Monday.

"It is believed to be one of the worst informal settlement fires that we have experienced to date," Ian Nielson said in a statement.

"It would appear that 4 500 structures were razed and approximately 15 000 residents have been affected."

Neilson expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the three victims who died in the fire.

News24 reported on Sunday that Pick 'n Pay donated R50 000 and all the unused water of the cancelled Cape Town cycling tour to residents in need.

Neilson said the Red Cross additionally distributed 8 000 meals, 8 000 blankets, toiletries, 200 baby packs and 1 000 mattresses.

The NGO Historically Disadvantaged Individuals distributed 6 000 meals, 6 000 blankets, 200 baby packs, toiletries and the Mustadafin Foundation gave out 6 000 meals, 6 000 blankets, toiletries and 200 baby packs, Neilson said.

Discussions with community

Residents have been offered temporary relief accommodation in community halls in the area and a temporary marquee has also been erected at the request of the affected residents to house their belongings.

Neilson said it would take at least a week for the city's solid waste management department to clear the debris.

"The site would then have to be levelled and redesigned. This will take approximately a week, if all goes according to plan," he said.

"The city urges members of the community to work with the city in this regard."

All water and electricity services are in the process of being reconnected, Neilson said.

The city will attempt to establish several large-scale areas which will be surrounded by fire-breaks, pedestrian walkways, and peripheral water, sanitation and electricity services.

"The city will, in this way, be able to enhance access to emergency and other services," Neilson said.

He said the city had discussed the plan with the community and its leaders.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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