Sunday, March 17, 2013

DA blamed for fatal Cape shack fire

Stellenbosch, Western Cape - The fire that left two people dead and over 4 000 people displaced in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch is the DA's fault, the ANC said on Saturday.

“The DA should take full responsibility for this disaster and its pathetic attempts to visit residents after the fire should be taken for what they are,” African National Congress Western Cape chairman Marius Fransman said.

He said if the Democratic Alliance's provincial government was committed to delivering services and homes to the poor, this tragedy could have been avoided.

“The reality is that this government of white privilege feels little if anything for these residents. It has consistently underspent its budget, especially on housing and infrastructure.”

The DA's spokesman Mmusi Maimane called Fransman's comments cheap politicking.

Residents survey the damage after a blaze swept through Khayamandi in Stellenbosch. Photo: Thomas Holder

“It is frankly disgusting that Mr Fransman would aim to politicise this tragedy. Playing politics with this tragedy is not the right way forward.”

He said the City of Cape Town, the Town Council in Stellenbosch and province's department of social development had provided extensive support already.

“Since Friday morning, 200 temporary structures have been built to house the fire victims.”

Stellenbosch Mayor, Conrad Sidego thanked all parties who had come to assist the displaced. He said the situation had stabilised.

“The situation is under control and the municipality is working hard to normalise the situation for those affected by the fire.”

The latest disaster management report showed that 1,250 shacks were affected and that the total number of displaced people was 4,500.

He said that the municipality had offered two halls to be used as accommodation for the victims, but that only 12 people took up the offer.

Thirty mobile toilets were set up on Friday evening, only five were found this morning.

“Theft under these conditions should be condemned. The community needs to work with the municipality in ensuring that they are in fact benefiting from the relief efforts. Theft cannot be tolerated,” said Sidego.

Food was being provided by the Provincial Department of Social Development and clean up efforts had also started.

The department of Home Affairs had registered victims and the process of re-issuing IDs and social grant access cards was underway, said Sidego.

School uniforms were being purchased for affected children.

It was reported that two people died in the fire. - Sapa

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