Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Khayelitsha fire leaves 1 100 people homeless

Hundreds of shacks have been destroyed by a fire in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, and while some residents looked on in horror others took the opportunity to loot nearby spaza shops. Full Story....

Swift action: A gas cylinder explodes as residents scramble to salvage their belongings from the fire. Photo: Andrew Ingram, Cape Times
More than 800 people have been left destitute following shack fires in Khayelitsha in the Cape Peninsula. Most of the residents were at work when the fire started and have lost most of their possessions. Residents are blaming the city council for their slow housing delivery.

Last January, 1 500 shacks were razed in the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa. Last month, the same area experienced three other devastating fires.

Over the past weekend, 450 shacks were destroyed, leaving more than 2 000 people homeless in Du Noon, an informal settlement near Table View.

Victims of today's fire are collecting whatever they can salvage and preparing to erect new shacks. Cyprian Cairncross, a divisional commander for the Cape Town fire services, says the cause of the fire is still unknown but will be investigated. No fatalities were reported.

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