Hundreds left homeless in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay, following devastating fires in informal settlements

Informal settlement fires
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Hundreds of people have been left homeless in Imizamo Yethu, in Hout Bay, in the Cape Peninsula, after a fire swept through the informal settlement and destroyed hundreds of dwellings.

Cape Town Fire and Rescue says additional resources had to be called in due to strong winds.

Firefighters from 14 different fire stations, with 20 firefighting appliances and approximately 80 staff members, battled the blaze in the early hours of Sunday morning.

They were huddled next to what remains of their meagre possessions. Some were already rebuilding. Many do not know how the fire started but say difficulties for firefighters to access the area worsened their plight. Resident Mzameli Macala explains.

“There’s no way to come in, there’s no way to come out and if you look at the road from the police station to get to Mandela Park, it’s a one-way road, you can’t fit in two cars.”

Residents Nobantu Mbonjeni and Lungile Madondo are appealing for any assistance.

“Everything I had in the house is burnt down, I only saved my child, I only have the clothes I’m wearing at the moment”

“We need materials to build back what we had. And we need basic sleek beds, blankets all that stuff even clothes even if it’s from donations that’s what we’re asking for.”

Community leader, Samkelo Krweqe, says they are organising some social assistance. “What we are trying to do now is to get government involved in terms of getting materials, and we are also trying to get a shelter for the people and food so that they feel warm for tonight.”

The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service says three people also died in a separate shack fire incident at Makhaza in Khayelitsha.