More than 1 300 homeless after Khayelitsha blaze

2018-10-21 21:21
Photos supplied by the City of Cape Town showing the devastation left by a fire in Khayelitsha on Saturday. (Supplied, City of Cape Town)

Photos supplied by the City of Cape Town showing the devastation left by a fire in Khayelitsha on Saturday. (Supplied, City of Cape Town)

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More than 1300 people have been left homeless after hundreds of shacks were destroyed in a blaze which broke out in Khayelitsha, the City of Cape Town said.

The fire broke out in the early hours of Saturday morning, leaving one person dead.

"The City's Disaster Risk Management Centre can now confirm that 342 structures had been destroyed, displacing 1 355 people," spokesperson Mandy Thomas said in a statement on Sunday. 

Thomas said City services are still on scene and people are being issued with kits to start rebuilding their homes.

Also read: Khayelitsha blaze: 'I have no clothes other than the ones I'm wearing'

She also said donations have been "pouring" into the Khayelitsha Fire Station from concerned residents.

"The South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) has been and will continue providing humanitarian relief.

"The City wishes to thank everyone for their willingness to help," she said.

Thomas added that another fire occurred in the Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi on Saturday night.

"Approximately 120 dwellings were destroyed and approximately 1 400 people have been affected. City officials are still on site, assessing the damage."

Residents on Saturday and Sunday described the pain of losing their homes.

Nomveliso Gxiya, 37, told GroundUp she was asleep when smoke filled her shack and woke her up.]

"I rushed out of my shack, saw a huge blaze approaching my shack and pulled my children out before I called out to my neighbours," she said.

Gxiya said she frantically moved out her wardrobe, fridge and bed, but her children's clothes and another wardrobe burnt.

"I decided to simply move my belongings out and made no effort to put out the fire because it was already big. Besides, the communal taps are located far from my shack," she said.

Gxiya said the shack dwellers made no attempts to extinguish the fire as they scrambled to pull their possessions out of their burning shacks.

Wearing a T-shirt, a skirt and slippers, she said: "I have no clothes other than the ones I'm wearing."

READ MORE: 'I have no clothes other than the ones I'm wearing'

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