Base station set on fire

2015-09-24 06:00

Officials from the Mustadafin Foundation and councillor Mayenzeke Sophaqa handed over much needed relief items to fire victims.

Officials from the Mustadafin Foundation and councillor Mayenzeke Sophaqa handed over much needed relief items to fire victims.

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As more than 56 people in Langa are still reeling from a shack fire that destroyed all of their 26 shacks, rogue elements in the community have set fire to the local City Disaster Risk Management base station.

On Thursday last week, the base station was torched when protestors broke open the palisade fence and placed burning tyres underneath the raised building.

According to city officials, this was the second attack on the facility in just two weeks. Langa has been the melting pot of a service delivery protest following the allocation of houses in the Langa Hostels Transformation Project.

Riots flared up on 1 September with protestors blockading roads and burning tyres on the streets.

Tensions have since calmed down following interventions by the local and provincial government officials.

City officials condemned the burning of the base station, saying that the people responsible were infringing on the rights of the community.

“The vandals clearly do not have the best interests of their community at heart. This facility is meant to be base of operations for DRM volunteers to provide support services for residents in Langa. N

We will now have to spend money on repairing the damage when these funds could have been used to provide other services to the residents of Langa,’ said JP Smith, City’s mayco member for safety and security.

Smith urged residents to report any criminal activity to the South African Police Service who is investigating a case of arson.

Four days before this incident much needed donations were handed over to victims of a shack fire that occurred in August. The inferno nearly killed one and displaced more than 50 people including young children in Zone 23.

Non profit organisation Mustadafin Foundation, with the help of local councillor Mayenzeke Sophaqa and donations from the Foschini group, handover over basic needs materials to fire victims.

Project coordinator at the foundation Mongezi Bisha said that even though the fire had taken place a month ago the victims were still in need.

“The majority of the families lost everything in the fire and the disaster relief materials they received initially were just not enough.

We are fortunate to have received the donation from the Foschini group so that we can hand over blankets, clothes and food items to the victims,” said Bisha.

Councillor Sophaqa applauded the gesture saying that it makes a big difference to the victims.

“When someone has lost everything it is very difficult to piece together their life as many of them lost even their Ids. Fortunately, we have managed to invite the home affairs department to come and help them with their documents,” said Sophaqa

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