A Khayelitsha mother says she has been sleeping outside in the cold with her three children to secure the plot where she wants to erect her shack.
Andiswa Matiso and her family were among more than 500 people whose homes and belongings were burnt down at Blowy informal settlement in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, on Sunday night. The fire claimed the lives of two people.
Matiso, said she does not have money to rebuild her home yet, so she sleeps on the site where her shack once stood. “We sleep with our kids on our plots because we don’t want other residents to build their own shacks on them. We are hungry. We have no clothes. We want good samaritans to help us,” she said.
“We are hungry. We have no clothes. We want good samaritans to help us.”
Another fire victim Ntaeleng Gejosengoe said they desperately need donations of essential toiletries, clothes and food.
“We want things such as pads, nappies and baby food. … Most of us can’t bathe and are still wearing the same clothes we wore on the day of the fire,” she said.
Gejosengoe said she and other fire victims want the City of Cape Town to de-densify Blowy.
SANCO leader Nkululeko Mantyi said they have been relying on donations to feed most of the fire victims. “Those who live off government grants have no money to rebuild. They have no money to buy food and can’t get their grants because their SASSA cards burnt,” he said.
When GroundUp visited Blowy on Thursday, some shack dwellers were rebuilding their shacks with burnt zinc sheets, but areas where most of the shacks stood before the fire occurred were vacant.
The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre spokesperson, Charlotte Powell, confirmed that 532 shack dwellers were affected. “Some affected people are staying with friends or relatives, while others will be accommodated at the local church. Numerous NGOs have been on site to assist with providing humanitarian relief, including Gift of the Givers, Heal our Land, Islamic Relief and Al Imdaad,” Powell said.