Shacks destroyed in fire

Thirty shacks were destroyed by the blaze and several more damaged as a result of the fire.

A total of 30 shacks were destroyed by a fire in Siyahlala informal settlement in Joe Slovo, Milnerton, displacing about a hundred people.

Residents say they were woken up by a blaze at 2.45am on Sunday morning, February 18. While 30 shacks were razed several other shacks were damaged because of people standing on them trying to pour water on the burning homes.

Ward 4 councillor, Wandisile Ngeyi, said he got there a little after 4am after getting a call that there was a fire in Joe Slovo.

“When I got here, I saw residents trying all they could to put out the fire. Rumours are that this was caused by a man that was drunk who passed out in his home with a lit cigarette,” said Mr Ngeyi.

WhiteyMyoyo, a Siyahlala resident who also had his shack destroyed in the fire, said he was worried because all their belongings had been destroyed in the fire.

“Right now, all we have are the clothes on our backs. The children didn’t go to school and have hardly had anything to eat,” said Mr Myoyo.

Mr Ngeyi said he was grateful for the people and organisations that have pulled together to lend a helping hand to the victims.

“The City of Cape Town has provided buildingmaterials for the victims. The MilnertonCentral Residents’ Association has helped with food and other things. We have asked people to stay with their relatives in the meantime while they work on trying to rebuild their homes,” he said.

Trying to rebuild homes could cause another issue as Mr Myoyo explained in a telephone interview with Tabletalk.

“I am very grateful that we were given materials to rebuild. But this area is very small. Even before the fire, we were living horribly because our houses are squashed together. Today I witnessed an argument between two neighbours because the one had used too much space when rebuilding and that was infringing on the other’s property,” he said.

He also put out a call to the City of Cape Town and businesses in the area for help. He said that most residents had lost everything including their IDs and it would help if they got a little more assistance.

The City’s Fire and Rescue spokesperson, Theo Layne, said that they had responded to the fire at 3.02am on Sunday.

“About 100 people were displaced when 30 informal structures were destroyed.

“No injuries were reported. Three fire engines, two water tankers and one rescue vehicle were on scene. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined,” he said.

Mr Ngeyi said he wanted to thank residents of Ward 4 for reaching out and lending a helping hand.