Pretoria – Survivors of the deadly fire that razed hundreds of homes in the Cemetery View informal settlement on Saturday night are refusing to relocate to temporary shelters.
At least three people died in the fire which left thousands of residents without shelter.
Giving an update on Monday, the City of Tshwane said: “Despite the citys offer to assist the victims and reduce the burden of the difficulty theyve endured since the fire broke out on Saturday, theyre adamant that they will not relocate, and will instead rebuild their structures, a process which started last evening and is ongoing”.
On Sunday the City provided buses to ferry survivors to temporary shelters in Mamelodi.
“Last evening, the city availed four buses to transport the residents to temporary accommodation venues arranged at the Stanza Bopape Hall in Mamelodi East, as well as at the community hall in Mamelodi West,” City Spokesperson Selby Bokaba said.
“But the buses had to return to the depot empty after the residents refused to board them.”
He said the City of Tshwane continues to provide rudimentary services in the form of chemical toilets and water to the victims of a fire at Cemetery View, Pretoria East, whose makeshift homes were razed by a fire on Saturday evening.
“The citys Emergency Services Department (ESD) responded to a raging fire that had engulfed 300 shacks and left three people dead in its wake two adults and a child at the informal settlement next to the Pretoria East Cemetery, behind the Woodlands Mall,” said Bokaba.
“ESD managed to extinguish the fire. The city mobilised resources and activated a humanitarian and social relief plan in the aftermath of a fire disaster which displaced about 2 000 residents.”
Bokaba said today, the citys Human Settlements Department provided the following rudimentary services:
3 of 5000 litres of jojo tanks
13 of chemical toilets services twice a week
1 of 10 000 litres capacity mobile water tank truck
Tshwanes Community and Social Development Department is coordinating social relief efforts with other stakeholders to ensure the provision of food and other related services.
Tshwanes Community and Social Development Department and ESD are coordinating inter-governmental social relief efforts together with other structures such as SASSA, Social Department and Human Settlements to ensure that the victims plight receives the necessary consideration.
Officers from the Department of Home Affairs were at the scene on Monday registering the residents of Cemetery View to determine their nationality and status.
Meanwhile, SANCO in Mamelodi said it condemns, “in the strongest terms plans by the Democratic Alliance-led administration to relocate victims of this fire incident from Woodlands in Pretoria East to Mamelodi”.
SANCO Mamelodi Zonal Chairperson Joseph Kgatle added: “SANCO Mamelodi calls upon the community of Mamelodi to reject this racist move by the DA-led administration.
“The destitute people of Cemetery View should demand better accommodation from the City of Tshwane.”
Kgatle said the “arrogance of this apartheid DA administration was displayed when it failed to consult the community that would be affected by this intended move”.
Moving the fire survivors to recreational halls in Mamelodi would inconvenience residents in that area.
“We know that for years to come people of Mamelodi West, East, and Far East will be without recreational facilities if this inhumane move can be allowed,” Kgatle said.