Khayelitsha fire victims battle to put their lives together again

Sivuyile Mfabe said he had waited for the building materials and then given up. “I have bought my own building materials from roadside hardware shops for about R5‚000 because I’m tired of staying at the community hall.”

Mfabe said‚ “I can’t take off my clothes and bath while there are kids around – and your belongings easily get stolen at the hall.”

Vuyokazi Manisi got a handyman to rebuild her shack using old‚ charred building materials as well as material from the city.

“The building materials I have received are not enough to rebuild my big‚ three-room shack‚” she said.

Manisi said she wanted to have her own room and her two school-going kids to have theirs.

“Although the new building material is not enough‚ I’m thankful to the city.”

Meanwhile‚ she is living at a friend’s place in Makhaya nearby.

Ward councillor Thando Pimpi said the fire victims all get the same amount of building materials‚ regardless of the size of their previous shacks.

“Some residents buy themselves building materials or use their burnt materials because they have lost patience with the city‚” he said.

“The registration takes long. The victims come and stand in long queues for the whole day and return to the community halls and community churches without building materials.”

He said he had tried unsuccessfully to get the city to give pregnant women‚ elders and sick residents priority treatment.

Some residents‚ who said they suffered from illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure‚ said they had not yet received building materials. Some had lost their medication in the fire; others said they had no food.

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