Informal residents to receive homes

A fire gutted homes in the G section in Rylands.

More than a hundred families in the Pooke se Bos informal settlement, who lost their homes in a fire two weeks ago, are eligible to move into homes that will be built from August next year, says their ward councillor.

On Tuesday September 15, 136 families lost their homes and all their belongings after a fire, which started in a wendy house at the back of the informal settlement in the G section in Rylands, swept through the camp.

Ward councillor Aslam Cassiem said the City of Cape Town
had provided materials to the
families to help them rebuild, but they would soon be getting new homes.

A tender for the housing project was due to go out next month, and the houses would resemble those in the Heideveld housing project, he said.

“These families have waited for homes for a long time, and they will soon be getting them.”

Mr Cassiem added: “They are excited to receive their new homes which will be built on the same plot. Phase one will see 60-odd houses being built and phase two the rest.”

A 2017 fire in the settlement had destroyed 54 homes, and last year a wendy house there had burnt down, he said.

The cause of the latest fire was still unknown, he said.

Henry Solomons, who has lived in the settlement for about 20 years, said it was the seventh fire in the community.

Residents feared the peak of the fire season in summer, he said.

“On the day everyone was running like crazy; people saved what they could, while others ran for their lives. Some of us took water and tried to douse the flames, but nothing helped. My son went to fetch the fire brigade, and they came out.”

Residents had rebuilt but weren’t hopeful of getting houses next year because similar promises had been made to them in the past, he said.

City Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse said fire crews had take three hours to put out the blaze. The cause of the fire was still unknown, he said.