A father and his three-year-old child have died following a shack fire at the Good Hope informal settlement near Germiston, East of Johannesburg.
Ekurhuleni Emergency Services discovered the two bodies after managing to contain the blaze which destroyed several shacks.
Residents of Good Hope informal settlement have started rebuilding their shacks after a fire destroyed several shacks.
They can be seen with wheelbarrows taking out rubble and paving the way to rebuild their shacks.
Shacks were burnt to ashes leaving them homeless. The streets have been littered with rubble from the burnt shacks.
The deceased’s family Spokesperson, Zodwa Maphanga says they are is still in shock.
“His neighbours suspect he left the heater on and went to sleep. There were two cars in the yard, but were not burnt because the shackfire was far from them. As the family, we are hurt and this is the first time experiencing such an incident.”
One of the residents says she has lost everything in the fire and is still traumatised.
“There were a lot of things in the shack like wardrobe, beds and other things that burnt to ashes such as clothes. My mother’s ID was also burnt. It’s hurting. The worse part is that a child has also died and we don’t know what happened.”
Another resident says the deceased could have been saved had there been water in the area.
“When we woke up it was too late. At least they moved the cars. It was too late to get help. We even forgot that we need to stay indoors because of coronavirus, we wanted to help. We are appealing to authorities to build us houses.”
Community leader, Siyambusa Mpolase says they have been neglected in the area. He says it is difficult to avoid such incidents as their shacks are too close to each other. He says even social distancing could not practically happen in the area.
“We are forced to stay indoors, but we don’t have sanitizers. We did not get any food parcels. Most of the people here are not working. When people try to leave to look for temporary jobs, they get arrested and beaten up. There are no taxis and we don’t know what to do. They encourage us to wash hands with our own soaps. They didn’t provide soaps, masks and gloves. No one came to conduct an awareness campaign because others do not understand the coronavirus because there are no television sets as there is no electricity.”
Ekurhuleni Emergency Services Spokesperson, Erick Maloka says police are investigating the incident.
“By now the scene has been handed over to SAPS to further their investigation. The cause of the fire by now is still undetermined.”
Residents have been warned not to leave appliances unattended.
Meanwile, there is an increasing call for food parcels across the country.
In the video below , Eersterus residents say they do not have food: