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Building kits are currently being issued to the 24 families who lost their homes during yesterday’s fire. The City of Cape Town, with the help of supporting organisations, has been making every effort to expedite the process to ensure that the families who have been affected by fires in Imizamo Yethu are able to rebuild their lives, through the issuing of building kits and the provision of humanitarian relief. Read more below:

Most recently, 27 families were affected by a fire that took place near the reservoir in Dontse Yahke, Hout Bay yesterday, 1 February 2016.

Currently 24 enhanced emergency kits are being issued to the families whose structures were completely damaged. Three relocation kits have been issued to the families whose structures were partially affected.

All of the timber poles that are handed out as part of these kits have been treated with fire-retardant paint prior to being issued.

The enhanced emergency kit includes nails, poles, galvanised corrugated steel roof sheets, a door with a lockset or padlock, and a window. The City of Cape Town is the only metro in the country that assists residents affected by fires and floods in this manner.Last night the affected families were accommodated at a nearby church or by relatives and friends. They also received humanitarian relief, including food.

Various City departments have been working tirelessly to help the families of Imizamo Yethu rebuild their lives following the fires that have taken place in the area.

The road leading to the fire-affected area was cleared today by the City’s Solid Waste Management Department.

In December 2015, the City also issued 226 enhanced emergency kits to the families affected by the devastating fire that occurred in Mandela Park in Imizamo Yethu.

During this time, Expanded Public Works Programme opportunities were created for the local community who were affected by the fire to help clear the site from all debris.

Furthermore, as with incidences of this kind, the Department of Home Affairs and SASSA will also be contacted to help residents with their documentation.

‘It saddens me that another fire has affected the lives of people living in Imizamo Yethu. From the City’s side, we are continually looking at ways to improve the living conditions in Imizamo Yethu to benefit our residents. For example, following the fire in December, the City compiled a list of beneficiaries which was handed over to the Electricity Services Department so that they can investigate the possibility of electrifying this area.

‘The City conducts ongoing fire awareness and education campaigns to educate residents on the dangers of fire, as well as hazards, preventative measures and how they can work with us to reduce the risk and number of fires.

‘It is important for the community to be constantly vigilant of potential fires and to allocate one person to be a lookout in case a fire starts. The more areas that do this, the less fire devastation we will see, as too many times fires that affect entire communities are caused by the behaviour of one or a few negligent and irresponsible residents. No city in the world can monitor the behaviour of residents all the time.

‘However, the City will continue to do all we can to assist residents living in informal settlements, including Imizamo Yethu, and we hope that more residents will take the necessary precautionary measures to reduce the risk of fires in their areas,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Benedicta van Minnen.

The donations from the public are being accepted and managed by a non-governmental organisation called Thula Thula Hout Bay, situated between Berg n Dal Estate and the BP Garage, across from the riding centre on Main Road, Hout Bay. For further information, members of the public can go to the Facebook page of Thula Thula Hout Bay, or e-mail them at infor@thula-thula.org

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