Protests on the N2

2018-07-26 06:00
Some of the debris left during the fire. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Some of the debris left during the fire. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Boys Town residents in Crossroads are threatening to take it to the streets to demand the City of Cape Town provide them with houses.

The remarks came after a couple died in a shack fire early on Sunday morning. The cause of a fire is unknown at this stage, according to authorities.

The City’s Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Theo Layne confirmed the incident, saying one structure was destroyed.

“One adult male sustained fatal burns and the woman was taken to hospital, but later died as a result of her extensive burns which covered at least 80% of her body,” he said.

One of the neighbours, who refused to mention his name for fear of reprisal, said the fire started early in the morning.

“The fire started at 01:00 in the morning. I heard people shouting behind my shack. When I looked out the window, I saw flames next door. Then I rushed out to help and there were three other guys trying to extinguish the fire. The door to the shack was already opened and there was a lady who had sustained burns. She collapsed in front of the shack, seemingly trying to get out,” he said.

He said they lifted the lady and took her to a safe place, away from the fire.

“She told us that she was with her boyfriend, who was still inside, by which time we were unable to go in because the flames were too big. After we extinguished the fire we saw the remains of the man. He was dead,” he said.

The neighbour has blamed the City for dragging its feet in the process of allocating them houses.

“I have been staying here for more than 25 years. I have a son of 24, who was born here. Every year, people are dying in shack fires and we are flooded in winter,” he said adding that they’ve seen people from other areas protesting, demanding service delivery and that they will do the same.

“We will close the N2 highway. We are not scared of the Law Enforcement officers. We fought guns and we were carrying stones during apartheid and we conquered them. We will do the same to the current government,” he said.

Ward 36 ccouncillor Nokuthula Bolitye said she has reported the incident to the City officials and the family is waiting for material to rebuild their shack. She cited political squabbles as the main reason behind the delays in the housing development in the area.

“There problem is community leaders are fighting among themselves. Some residents want the development to continue while others are always against it ...”

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