Saturday, 21 May 2022
WorldFire leaves hundreds homeless in South Africa

Fire leaves hundreds homeless in South Africa

AA / Johannesburg / Hassan Isilow

Hundreds of people were left homeless after a fire ripped through a slum on the outskirts of Cape Town, authorities said on Sunday.

Jermaine Carelse, spokesman for Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, said the fire in the Joe Slovo slum has destroyed around 300 homes.

He said the fire started on Saturday evening, but its cause has not yet been determined.

Television footage showed residents saving what was left of their homes so they could get on with their lives.

No deaths or injuries have been reported so far, authorities said.

Cape Town City Council member Zahid Badroodien said in a tweet that authorities were assessing the number of families affected and deciding what kind of help to provide them.

Motorists traveling on Cape Town’s N2 highway said they saw huge flames erupt as they passed.

More than two decades after the end of apartheid, the majority of South African communities, black and poor, continue to live in dwellings built of zinc and sheet metal. They live in overcrowded neighborhoods on the outskirts of major cities, where they seek work opportunities.

Fires are common in these areas due to the combustible materials with which these dwellings are built.

*Translated from English by Mourad Belhaj

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