Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

2 Killed, Hundreds Displaced by Fires in South Africa

Sun 31 Mar 2024 | 08:56 PM
Israa Farhan

Two individuals lost their lives and about 2,000 were displaced when fires engulfed hundreds of shacks in three separate incidents in Cape Town, South Africa, over the weekend, emergency services announced on Sunday.

According to the source, two fires occurred on Saturday evening, with another breaking out in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A statement from the Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Jermaine Carelse indicated that "a man and a woman were fatally injured, and their deaths were pronounced by paramedics" in one of the informal settlements.

The first fire broke out around 02:20 on Sunday morning, affecting over 150 shacks, leading to the displacement of over a thousand people in the informal settlement of Mfuleni, about 30 kilometers southeast of Cape Town.

Carelse stated that investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the fire.

Shack fires are prevalent in South Africa and constantly pose a threat to poor residents living in informal settlements near major cities across the country.

The Department of Housing reported that as of 2022, 12.3% of the population lived in shacks in South Africa.

The Muslim charitable organization Gift of the Givers informed Agence France-Presse (AFP) that they would provide humanitarian aid to the displaced individuals at the three sites, including hot meals, drinking water, blankets, mattresses, and children's care products.

Several individuals received treatment for injuries, while one person remains missing, according to the organization, which added that halls are being prepared to accommodate the displaced.