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Vrygrond fire assessment under way, up to 120 homes destroyed

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The City of Cape Town is conducting assessments on the fire that ravaged through Vrygrond near Muizenberg in Cape Town on Thursday night.

According to the City, the fire started at about 17:30 and up to 120 shacks were destroyed, though the final number will be determined once the assessment is completed on Friday.

“They [City disaster relief services] are still busy with assessments in conjunction with other City services… we have already alerted Sassa (South African Social Security Agency),” Charlotte Powell, Cape Town disaster management spokesperson told News24.

She said that Sassa would provide social relief for residents affected by the fire.

News24 reported on Thursday that 12 fire engines, four water tankers, a rescue vehicle and 68 firefighters were deployed to fight the inferno.

Fires

Firefighting vehicles were observed driving into the adjacent area of Lavender Hill to battle the fire from the northern side.

“ISM [informal settlement management] will issue starter kits for residents to rebuild,” Powell said of the City’s plan to assist residents affected by the fire.

 

The hot summer season has already resulted in a number of huge fires in the City.

In Khayelitsha, around 342 household were affected by a devastating fire.

“The rehabilitation and reconstruction process is well underway,” said Powell of that fire, adding that all debris has been removed and ISM had issued residents with rebuilding starter kits.

The City has also initiated similar efforts for those affected by the Philippi blaze which left more than 1 300 people homeless, GroundUp reported.

Informal areas are often devastated by fires and Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay, Masiphumelele, Crossroads and Lost City are also areas at risk from fires.

According to Ndifuna Ukwazi, the Social Justice Coalition, the International Budget Partnership and OpenUp there are 204 recognised informal settlements in Cape Town.

People in these areas are often subject to poor living conditions in cramped settlements where there is inadequate sanitation and high unemployment.

Source: News24


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