3 dead, 4 000 homeless after Cape Town fires

2013-01-01 19:01

Johannesburg - Shack fires on New Year's Day left three people dead and 4 000 homeless in Khayelitsha and Thembeni, the City of Cape Town disaster management services said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes of the city's disaster risk management centre said at 01:12 a fire was reported at Thembeni informal settlement in Du Noon.

"The fire destroyed 15 formal houses and another 220 shacks in the area. As a result of the fire 800 people were left displaced," he said.

The blaze also damaged the overhead electricity supply and technicians were repairing the system at 15:30 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in Khayelitsha a fire destroyed 120 shacks on Monday at 19:15 leaving 200 people homeless at the WD-section.

Solomons-Johannes said another devastating fire broke-out at BM-section of Khayelitsha at 04:45 on Tuesday.

A large contingent of public safety agencies from Disaster Risk Management, Fire & Rescue Services, Metro Emergency Medical Services, City's law enforcement agencies brought the flames under control.

"The blaze destroyed over 800 shacks leaving more than 3 000 people homeless," he said.

"The service of a helicopter was employed at first light to assist containing the rapid spreading fire."

The aerial firefighting finally extinguished the flames at 10.30am on Tuesday, he said.

Three men died in the fire after being engulfed in flames and could not escape.

One man sustained serious burn wounds and was transported to the Tygerberg Hospital.

The N2 in both directions was closed as the thick smoke affected the free-flow of traffic, endangering the safety of motorists.

Solomons-Johannes said strong winds had fuelled the spread of the fires and that created a problem for firefighters.

The City of Cape Town's disaster response teams assisted the fire victims with food parcels, blankets, baby packs, clothing, building material and trauma counselling.

Members of the public who would like to help with donations can contact the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre on 080 911 HELP (4357).
The following goods are essential supplies that can assist the victims in the affected areas:
•         emergency food rations
•         fresh or tinned food
•         wood
•         paraffin
•         blankets
•         assistance with the transportation of donated goods 

  • ken.koen - 2013-01-01 19:22

    I'm sure the caring presidency will divert a few bob from Nkandla

      david.banner.104418 - 2013-01-01 19:31

      Just move to Nkandla, plenty space there and state of the art luxuries.

      jj.jeno.1 - 2013-01-02 08:24

      And this mentality is exactly why we will never be united as a country...were you saying the same when there were fires in Franshoek? I highly doubt it... Jesus, people can't even show some damn sympathy for anyone... I'm ashamed to be South African right now...

      jenny.nel.100 - 2013-01-02 19:50

      Don't hold yer breath.

  • adrian.k.andrews - 2013-01-01 19:23

    It's very sad! We all need to assist those individuals who were left homeless due to the fire! Come millionares lol

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2013-01-01 20:29

      Phone 0800-Nkandla.

      adrian.k.andrews - 2013-01-01 20:53

      Why can't u contibrute in helping??

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2013-01-01 21:00

      All my money was spend on a bomb shelter.

      adrian.k.andrews - 2013-01-01 21:50

      Apity you weren't in the shelter that was bombed! My Prayers would be answered

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2013-01-02 07:27

      Uhm, that is Zuma's shelter but hey if you wish it to be bombed I won't object or hold it against you.

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2013-01-01 19:42

    Shame man we should stop pointing idiot fingers here and stand together as a nation in the form of donations of any kind,we know the zooma wont help those unfortunate people.

      ernest.lwandle - 2013-01-01 19:54

      @MIKE PEACH PURCHASE,iv been reading youre comments from since icant remember,throught my followings i find so intresting to foundout that there are white people like you especially on this forum who can discuss importent issues that are affecting our country without regard to in XHOSA UNGUMHLEKAZI i salute you. - 2013-01-01 20:01

      U making a joke out of others misery, Mike?

      calvin.eighteeseex - 2013-01-01 20:06

      We must stop pointing fingers but you just pointed @showerhead yourself,idiot, hypocrite you won't help either.

      ronald.stilianou - 2013-01-01 20:08

      Mpho...You are a gift I'd rather not have. What have you ever done for your fellow man?

      Charles Frederik Robberts - 2013-01-01 20:19

      Just saw on tv some fire victims complaining that other residents are stealing their belongings. Nice neighbours and community!

      Mary Milne Archibald - 2013-01-01 20:33

      Agree, housing is a National issue. When will we see Mr President or Housing Minister visit or offer to help.

  • lybon1 - 2013-01-01 19:52

    This is sad.....lets see how madam big mouth zille is gonna handle this situation.....all she does is blame the anc for everything.....lets hope her response is very snappy

      Charles Frederik Robberts - 2013-01-01 20:15

      Sure it was a cANCer cadre who started the fire!

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-02 10:03

      Lybon1. Her response was snappy and still is. All help are going there. You on the other hand is just another loud mouth with nothing to add. Worthless all the way.

      jenny.nel.100 - 2013-01-02 19:57

      Ms Zille will handle the situation the same way she handles all situations : extremely well. She is a woman of substance, and the Western Cape is extremely fortunate to have the DA. I am very sorry for these poor people. If Zuma had not spent all that money on his own personal compound, there may have been a special fund to help rebuild and rehouse. If we are to rely on him and the ANC, we are screwed. Fortunately there are many good people out there who will dig deep into their already highly taxed pockets to help. The DA will also, without a doubt, come forward to assist.

  • EricksonTL - 2013-01-01 20:05

    It's an opportunity. Check which one of those shack dwellers already have houses in the Eastern Cape (many do) and if they do, send them home! It's not fair to expect the government of the WC to support them when they are established in the EC!

      ernest.lwandle - 2013-01-01 20:49

      THE moment we leaving make sure that you catch the first boat from waterfront hiding to malaysia or holland ok.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-02 10:04

      Ernest.lwandle. The moment you leave, hordes will just be too grateful to fill the space you left behind. Go play racist somewhere else and leave grown ups alone. Twit.

  • johan.kruger.39 - 2013-01-01 20:07

    Please contact their president for donations and financial help....

      ernest.lwandle - 2013-01-01 20:20

      You president too idiot and you need to warm up know for your late departure north pole is calling you.

      Charles Frederik Robberts - 2013-01-01 20:27

      Not a bad idea ernast! Could have a white Christmas again!

      calvin.eighteeseex - 2013-01-01 20:30

      I knew lindiwa mazibuka started this fire inorder for showerhead to get the blame Lol I'm loving the circus between mr king of the blacks zoooomer vs mrs queen of whites zille, somebody join me in plz

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2013-01-01 20:39

      @calvin.eighteeseex: Who would? As soon as you are cornered or you don’t have a foot to stand on you want to pull a gun you racist nitwit.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-02 10:06

      Ernets. lwandle, We didn't choose him so he isn't our president. He is yours and good luck with your idiotic choice. Now go play.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2013-01-01 20:09

    And zuma just spent R247 000 000 on his private residence.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2013-01-02 07:59

      It is actually closer to R 600 000 000 if you take all costs excluding the road for his private residence.

      guyp1 - 2013-01-02 14:13

      Whats worse is that the president doesn't even earn enough to pay for that house/mansion/small-country-on-its-own. It's all stolen and wont be given back to help those in need.

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2013-01-01 20:20

    Ernest we are going to win.

      ernest.lwandle - 2013-01-01 20:39

      And no matter how foggy the road is,even the spider webs in unity can tied up the lion, wich is cANCEr.

      ernest.lwandle - 2013-01-01 21:58

      @FRANCOIS. realy i do agree with u aswell but if changes is the part of life nothing wont gona change ,but we need to change what we think we are to what we think we want to be cause time and tide wait for no man.And the fact remains we all love our country so what kind of contribution are we giving then, and all is in our hands.

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2013-01-01 20:23

    Mpho you are so incorrect in saying that.

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2013-01-01 20:37

    This could have happened to anyone human being, God shows us love and compassion, so lets cut the bull s and thank God that they are alive, material goods can be replaced. The President will assist these victims, he said so in his address to the nation for 2013. We are not all heartless human beings!

      Mike Peach Purchase - 2013-01-01 20:51

      I agree charmaine i just hope the powers that be help those people.

      lybon1 - 2013-01-01 21:15

      Charmaine......well said

  • Sibulele Stemele - 2013-01-01 20:42

    hate it wen things go racial. and every story i read has racial comments. people just grow up and comment on the matter. if any of u have racial issues, sort them over the braai with people who will agree with u. we not ur friends so dnt force that rubbish in our lives. people losing homes and people pin hellen for something she didnt do and kids overturning the car and now its zumas fault. grow up.

      theMichaelHawthorne - 2013-01-01 21:32

      now you know what many white and other races feel like after zumas racial comments and songs etc...

  • rollingstone.kanyane - 2013-01-01 20:52

    let them go errect some shacks at nkandla ville the place is well equiped with many fire extiquishers this tradegy could have been easily avoided

  • francois.chamberland.714 - 2013-01-01 20:53

    How is it possible that the Black Apartheid regime allows its population to live under such conditions ? The top leader is sitting on one hand and the other one is stuck in his nose. Cattle lives in better conditions.

      Sibulele Stemele - 2013-01-01 21:37

      the people do get rdp houses. but they opt the rent them out or sell them for the extra cash. u can take a donkey to the river but u cnt make it drink. saying that as the idiom it is. im not calling people donkeys. so what more can the gov do?

  • fatimah.mavuso - 2013-01-01 21:53

    poor ppl,wht a way to start the new yr

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2013-01-02 01:24

    ANC scortched WP POLICY................WAKE UP AND REALIZE CLONES.

  • Todd - 2013-01-02 01:29

    What a very sad story. These poor people had very little to begin with and now even less. I hate to see people suffer, it doesn't matter to me what color they are. Tragic there were lives lost, I am surprised more people were not killed considering the magnitude of the blaze.

  • vaneckbianka - 2013-01-02 08:05

    Funny how they need help now after what they did burning farmers properties, and making farmers lose millions! God works in his own ways we have a Great and Almaighty God! I did not see anyone donating anything when they behaved like .... And destroyed farmers lives this is just justice on a other level a level I enjoy!

      garth.baldwin.96 - 2013-01-02 11:32

      only a fool would attribute this to an act of god!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-02 09:57

    How terrible. These shacks are build so close together, when one catch fire the others burn too. Help is needed and it will be provided.

  • sanet.n.debeer - 2013-01-02 10:07

    And their electricity that they steal and we pay for, gets fixed for them! How utterly unfair that we must pay and they live like kings. Material for new houses, free food and free food. I would also burn down my shack!

  • jacostoneysteenkamp - 2013-01-02 14:31

    3.75 , in other words , 3 to 4 people live in a shack?Our lands resources gets squabbled over and these people live in crap situations . Unfair

  • belina.makoko - 2013-01-02 14:52

    its sad ppl without houses

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