SHACK DWELLERS LEFT DESTITUTE
By: Veantha Naidoo
At least 12 families were left destitute after their home burnt down on Angola Place in Shallcross last Friday.
According to a neighbour Alice Mbatha, living adjacent to the gutted building, 12 families had occupied the two-bedroom house where there was no electricity or any running water.
As a result many of them had to make-do with the massive paraffin stoves, of which it is believed that is what started the massive blaze.
“These families, which include minor children, have been living in these adverse conditions for a long time.
I have tried to call in the various authorities to investigate the living conditions but little was done for them. They were instead exploited and trodden on and now this had to amplify their struggles,” said Mbatha.
The building had allegedly caught alight around midday, burning and damaging the belongings of residents.
One of the residents Maxwell Mlope said, “The fire blazed for two hours before the emergency services arrived and were able to put it out. We tried to salvage whatever we
could, but the fire was so high, that there was little that we could do.
My first instinct was to protect my wife and children and protect them from the fire.”
The area was blocked off by police tape, but the now homeless parents and children still lingered with the dilapidated walls, among the rubble and debris hoping to find some sort of
shelter till better help came.
According to Jay Pillay of the Chatsworth SAPS, the victims of the fire had apparently occupied the property for quite some time, paying the landlord R200 per month per family.
Investigations are still underway.