Hundreds of people have been left destitute following a fire in Masiphumelele.
The blaze tore through the community on Thursday, burning around 1,000 homes to the ground.
Fire and Rescue Services’ Jermaine Carelse said no one has been injured:
“The fire was extinguished at around about 1am this morning and crews continue to monitor the area.”
With just a week until Christmas, residents are sifting through what’s left of their homes trying to salvage what remains of their belongings.
Officials are calling on members of the public to donate essential items, which can be dropped off at the Living Hope Organisation in Masiphumelele.
Speaking on CapeTalk on Friday morning, Carelse said a fire that broke out in Camps Bay had also been contained.
“It’s now a sunny morning in Camps Bay, there is a light breeze and the fire has been contained. We’re looking at getting a fresh crew just after 9am this morning and they will work throughout the day until maybe tomorrow morning to properly extinguish and to ensure that there no flare-ups.”
No injuries were recorded in Camps Bay either.
Meanwhile, local pastor John Thomas has been in the area offering help in any way he can: “It’s like a scene from Armageddon; an absolute tragedy… and what a cruel way to end the year.”
Ward Councillor Felicity Purchases said mop-up operations and assessments are under way:
“Yesterday, our focus was trying to get the fire out and try to prevent it from spreading but unfortunately the wind aggravated. But today we were able to do a serious assessment of possible cause and extent of the damage.”
Purchase said they would declare a local disaster.
“Social development refused to allow us to issue out starter kits going forward and said they will only do it in terms of the Disaster Management Act. So, we are going to declare a disaster for this because there are sufficient homes involved that warrant that sort of intervention.”