Today, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi and the National Government’s Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Pam Tshwete, visited the area affected by the devastating fire in Masiphumelele that took place in the early hours of Monday 29 July 2019.

During the visit today, I was overwhelmed by the dedication and commitment by various City departments and organisations who have been working tirelessly, amidst the inclement weather, to assist more than 1 200 residents who have been left displaced, following the recent fire in Masiphumelele.

I want to thank all the teams for their assistance, from the firefighters who were first on the scene, to the many others who are currently helping in various ways.

Relief operations are currently still underway:

  • The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre has informed SASSA to provide humanitarian relief. The Masipumelele community hall and the Methodist Church in Myeza Road were opened for emergency sheltering. Meals and mattresses will also be provided to the families. While we were on site today, the Gift of the Givers arrived to distribute approximately 1 000 blankets. Donations of non-perishable food, blankets, clothing, and baby items can be dropped off at the Subcouncil 19 office and the Living Hope Centre in Kommetjie Road, Fish Hoek.
  • We are working hand-in-hand with the City’s Solid Waste Department to clear the debris and to prepare the site in order for the families to rebuild their structures.
  • The City’s Human Settlements Directorate will be issuing 256 building kits to the registered households, which were affected by the fire. The building kit consists of, among others, a door, hinges and lockset, a window, nails and poles, and corrugated steel sheets. We are the only metro which distributes such rebuilding kits in an effort to help our residents. We urge the community to continue to work with us to ensure that the distribution of the kits is completed as a matter of urgency.
  • The City’s Electricity Services Department is making every effort to re-install the electricity infrastructure which was damaged by the fire.

Overall, the City is committed to improving the living conditions of residents in Masiphumelele and we will continue to make every effort to enhance basic service delivery, where possible, with the support of the community.

In the coming weeks, the first qualifying beneficiaries of the Masiphumelele Phase 4 housing project will receive their State-subsidised homes. This housing project will eventually provide 227 houses to qualifying beneficiaries from the area, including residents living in the wetlands.

In the meantime, we want to thank all roleplayers, including the community, who have been working with us to ensure that the affected site can be ready in the shortest time possible.

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