A devastating fire broke out in the Masiphumele informal settlement near Fish Hoek late on Thursday [December 17] afternoon, destroying more than a thousand structures in its wake.
The fire was fueled by gale force winds, causing it to grow beyond control and rip through the area fast. Most of the structures burnt down were in Wetlands sections B, C and D, according to the Fish Hoek Community Police Forum.
No fatalities or major incidents have been reported thus far. Between 4000-5000 people are estimated to be homeless after the fire.
City of Cape Town Fire Services, Disaster Risk Management, Human Settlements teams and other officials are on scene in Masiphumelele where a fire has torn through approximately 1 000 dwellings (initial counts). #CTNews
— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) December 17, 2020
Last night in howling winds,
a massive fire left 5 000 homeless and traumatized
If you are…
A fire 🔥 that started late afternoon has left about 5000 people homeless tonight in my area Masiphumelele.
The City of Cape Town Fire Services, Disaster Risk Management, Human Settlements teams and other officials, as well as about 40 personnel and a helicopter were enlisted to help fight the fire.
It took about nine hours to extinguish, and the cause is still unknown.
A huge, disastrous fire has broken out at Masiphumelele. As darkness falls hundreds of homes have burnt down and are…
The City’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato, indicated that he will declare a local disaster within the next 72 hours and the Western Cape Government has been engaged already for an emergency gazetting of the local disaster, which is expected by next week. Thereafter, funds for the emergency relief material will be able to be accessed.
This is in terms of a new process. Due to National Government budget cuts, the City is no longer able to offer the extra service of providing fire and flood kits to residents outside of declared disasters.
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi, will visit the area early Friday morning for a first-hand account of the damage.
The City will also conduct a verification process of the affected residents and their Solid Waste Management Department will clear the debris.
Sites will be demarcated and affected residents will be issued with a proof of residence certificate in future when they rebuild or are issued with emergency kits in accordance with the disaster declaration.
It is believed many affected residents will be staying with friends and family in the area. The City appeals to members of the public to please donate items such as blankets, baby food, nappies, baby milk and non-perishable food to the organisation Living Hope in Masiphumelele.
To donate, please contact Living Hope: 082 465 9067. Funds can also be donated through their website – livinghope.co.za
Go to the “How you can help” tab and click on ‘Disaster Relief’.
Picture: Screenshot from video