1 500 destitute after Cape fire

2013-12-27 22:32
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town continues to provide disaster relief aid to those left destitute by the fire in the Agstelaan informal settlement in Valhalla Park, mayor Patricia de LIlle said on Friday.

More than 1500 people were left destitute on Monday when a fire ripped through the informal settlement.

De Lille said efforts to fast-track the upgrading of the informal settlement were hampered by a protest action on Thursday.

"The City of Cape Town is committed to finding a solution to the issues raised and will once more engage with the community tomorrow [Saturday],' she said.

"I’ve noted the demands of those who participated in the protest action on Boxing Day and it’s important to reiterate that the city is doing all it can, with the resources at its disposal, to provide decent housing opportunities for all its residents."

A housing database was used to provide housing opportunities to any particular group. The city was also working with the department of home affairs to facilitate the reissuing of Identity documents lost in the fire, De Lille said.

The SA Social Security Agency would also be visiting the site in the coming days to do biometric verification of all grant beneficiaries.

The SA Communist Party in the Western Cape said it had learnt with shock of the fire.

"This now common working-class tragedy sadly occurred on the eve of Christmas," said provincial secretary Khaya Magaxa.

He said it was the vulnerable and destitute who suffered during these catastrophes not the comfortable residents sheltered in their "palisades of self-accumulation".

Fault of city

He blamed the city of Cape Town and the Western Cape provincial government for the disaster.

"It is clearly evident that both the city and provincial government are inept in terms of planning for the prevention and reaction to these disasters.

"Catastrophes such as this occur annually. How is that proper planning in this regard is either overlooked or simply relegated as unimportant?"

The SACP demanded that housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, premier Helen Zille and mayor De Lille should resign with immediate effect.

Over the last few years the DA had failed to expedite the construction of human settlements, Magaxa said.

"Sustainable and decent housing should be the solution, not temporary gulags and concentration camps."

Read more on:    sacp  |  patricia de lille  |  cape town

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