UPDATE | Cape Town firefighters currently battling blaze in Masiphumelele

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Helicopters and fire engines were deployed to help quell the raging fires and the cause of the fire is not yet known. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)
Helicopters and fire engines were deployed to help quell the raging fires and the cause of the fire is not yet known. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)
  • City of Cape Town firefighters are currently battling a blaze in Masiphumelele.
  • The City estimates the fire has destroyed 1 000 dwellings thus far.
  • It is calling for donations of essentials for residents.

City of Cape Town firefighters are currently battling a blaze in Masiphumelele after its Fire and Rescue Services was alerted to plumes of thick black smoke in the area at around 16:13.

"The crew from Kommetjie Road quickly responded to the fire in Masemola Street which was being fanned by strong winds and spreading at an alarming rate," Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said in a statement on Thursday.

"Additional resources were called in and eight firefighting appliances and 40 staff are now on the scene as are police who were called to control an unruly crowd who were interfering in the firefighters' efforts to contain the blaze," Carelse added.


A chopper is water bombing the Masiphumelele fire.

Call for donations

Fire and Rescue Services, Disaster Risk Management, human settlements teams and other officials are on the scene in Masiphumelele, where the fire has torn through approximately 1 000 dwellings thus far.

"Emergency services are battling to bring the fire under control primarily due to the gale-force winds. The City appeals to members of the public to please donate essential items such as blankets, baby food, nappies, baby milk and non-perishable food to the organisation Living Hope in Masiphumelele," the City said in a statement on Thursday.

Once the fire is brought under control, the City will start to conduct a verification process of the affected residents; the City's Solid Waste Management Department will clear the debris; sites will be demarcated and affected residents will be issued with a proof of residence certificate as proof of their residency in future when they rebuild or are issued with emergency kits in accordance with the disaster declaration.

News24 earlier reported the blaze was between Bakoven and Camps Bay above Victoria Road with approximately eight firefighting appliances with 45 staff members being at the scene.

READ | Firefighters battle blaze on slopes of Table Mountain

According to the City, Mayor Dan Plato indicated he would declare a local disaster within the next 72 hours and the Western Cape government had been engaged for an emergency gazetting of the local disaster which was expected by next week.

"Thereafter, funds for the emergency relief material will be able to be accessed. The City will do its best to expedite the process as far as it is within its power to do so.

"This is in terms of a new process. Due to national government budget cuts, the City is no longer able to offer the extra service of providing fire and flood kits to residents outside of declared disasters," the City said.

This is a developing story.

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