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MEC Tertuis Simmers on R32 million emergency fund for Masiphumelele fire victims

13 Jan 2021

Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers says the emergency provision of R32 million to the City of Cape Town (CoCT) is to ensure that residents from Masiphumelele who were severely affected during a fire in December are in the short-term assisted with emergency building kits.

Since the emergency funds had been made available from the Western Cape Human Settlements Development Grant (WCHSDG), the CoCT has already cleared the site of all debris, prepared basic infrastructure and erected the first 10 units. Occupancy of these units has also been taken, while access to water and sanitation facilities have also been provided.

It is estimated that between 30 and 50 structures will be erected each day, with 656 families accommodated on part of the affected site and 420 on the local sports field. It is also envisaged that all affected residents should be in the emergency accommodation by 22 February.

As it also important to protect the wetland, which is adjacent to the land that can be developed, this will be fenced-off to separate the waterbody from the land where the emergency structures will be erected. This will further assist in ensuring that houses are not flooded during the winter rainy season.

Minister Simmers said: “As a caring government, it was critical for us to swiftly assist these residents. By making these funds available, we’ve ensured that the City is in a position where the necessary relief can be provided to the more than 5 000 residents. This intervention also demonstrates what can be achieved when all three spheres of government fully cooperate with each other.

We’re also looking forward to receiving the R 70 million, which the National Department of Human Settlements Water and Sanitation (NDoHSWS) committed to. These funds will come from the Provincial Emergency Housing Grant (PEHG) and will assist in providing long term solutions for these residents. Part of this plan is the provision of housing opportunities that consist of Sustainable/Alternative Building Technology (SBT).

I’d like to take this opportunity to also thank those community leaders and members that have been working together with us to ensure a smooth process. I’d like to further call on those who are considering to illegally invade the land while the rebuilding process is underway, as was the attempt this past Sunday, to refrain from doing this, as it will only lead to delays in our efforts to re-block the area.”

Media enquiries:
Marcellino Martin
Tel: 021 483 9483 
Cell: 082 721 3362

Muneera Allie
Tel: 021 483 2868
Cell: 083 755 3213

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