Fire leaves hundreds in South Africa homeless

Fire leaves hundreds in South Africa homeless

No fatalities or injuries reported from blaze that erupted on Saturday night, according to officials

News Service AA

Hundreds of people have been left homeless after a fire gutted a shantytown on the outskirts of Cape Town, rescue officials said on Sunday.

Jermaine Carelse, a spokesperson for Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Services, said the fire in the Joe Slovo informal settlement destroyed around 300 shacks.

He said the blaze started on Saturday night, but the cause has yet to be determined.

Residents were shown on television salvaging what was left of their homes in order to restart their lives.

So far, no fatalities or injuries have been reported, according to officials.

Zahid Badroodien, a member of the Cape Town Mayoral Committee, said in a tweet that officials are assessing the number of families affected and determining what relief will be provided to help them.

Motorists on Cape Town's N2 highway reported witnessing enormous flames erupt as they passed.

More than two decades after apartheid ended, the majority of South Africa's poor black communities continue to live in shacks constructed of zinc and iron sheeting. They live in crowded settlements near cities, where they seek work opportunities.

Fires are widespread in such areas due to the combustible construction materials used in the densely packed dwellings.


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