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The Minister of Social Development in the Western Cape, Albert Fritz, conveys his deepest condolences to the family of Mr Sango Nqeneka who lost his life, and to the many residents who have lost their homes due to fires that broke out this weekend. There have been fires in Khayelitsha, Kosovo and Kayamandi.

Particularly in Khayelitsha, where over 1200 individuals have lost their homes, this Department has deployed social workers who have provided counselling to those affected by the death of their loved one and the loss of their homes.

Additionally, this Department will continue to monitor the provision of humanitarian relief to those affected as provided by SASSA or as available through donations.

It should be noted that in each fire, there were complaints about SASSA’s ability to provide disaster relief. I call on SASSA to reevaluate their disaster management supply chain. It is essential that as we go into a new fire season, that SASSA does not abandon the most vulnerable in society.

I further commend the City of Cape Town’s Disaster and Risk Management team, in collaboration with the Department of Human Settlements, for their work in documenting and assisting the affected.

MEC Fritz said, “the fire season has begun and I call on all residents to be cautious when using open fires and paraffin. Density population and the number of flammable materials within in informal settlements make homes particularly vulnerable to the spread of fires. As communities, our priority must be the prevention of fires.”

The Ministry of Social Development in the Western Cape will continue to support the most vulnerable in our society by providing disaster relief and counselling to those affected by the fire season.

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