Victims of the fire that swept through Site 5 in Dunoon want to know where their councillor is in their time of need.
In the early hours of Tuesday March 13, fire and rescue services responded to the blaze with more than 40 firefighters from seven fire stations (“Shacks destroyed in Dunoon fire”, Tabletalk, March 14).
By 9.20am around 100 shacks were destroyed, leaving around 500 homeless said fire and rescue spokesman, Theo Layne.
Tabletalk visited Site 5 a day after the fire where people were already demarcating the sites of their shacks and putting up wooden frames. Many were armed with shovels, scraping debris together in heaps to be taken away.
Others were banging nails into steel sheets, trying to rebuild their shacks as soon as possible.
A small crowd gathered among the ruins and asked where Ward 104 Councillor, Lubabalo Makeleni, was and why he was not assisting them.
MyDunoon, a non-profit organisation based in Dunoon, has been helping the fire victims with food and clothing. Farm Malinga, project manager at MyDunoon, said this fire was the second to hit the township in two weeks.
He said the people needed the City’s help and support but they were failing to provide it. He said Mr Makeleni had not been seen in the area for a while.
Tabletalk called Mr Makeleni’s number but it went to voicemail and also emailed him, asking if he would be assisting the fire victims but he did not respond.
We also asked the City if they had an alternative number for the councillor but they did not respond by the time this article went to print.
“Fires set the community back because they have to start from scratch,” said Mr Malinga.
He said one of his main priorities is comprising a list of children who lost their uniforms in the fire.
Zukelwa Mganu, 35, lost everything in the fire.
“I did not have a chance to grab anything in my home. I only grabbed my children and ran. About 10 minutes later the fire took the shack. I was just standing there. You feel like you’ve just lost everything,” said Ms Mganu.
Ms Mganu and her children are living with her brother until her shack is rebuilt.
She said it may take a month before they move back as she has to wait for pay day to start furnishing her home again.