Durban shack fire leaves one dead and more than 45 families destitute

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
A fire destroyed shacks in Cato Crest, Durban on Sunday. Stock photo.
A fire destroyed shacks in Cato Crest, Durban on Sunday. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Thuansak Srilao

A mother of two lost her life in a fire that ripped through a Durban informal settlement on Sunday, leaving more than 45 families homeless.

According to shack dweller’s movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, the fire broke out during the early hours on Sunday at the Marikana settlement in Cato Crest.

Nomasamson Dlamini, 38, whose children are in Lesotho, died in the blaze and 16-year-old Cebo Mpiliso was critically injured.

Abahlali said affected residents had lost most of their belongings, including their food for the month.

“Their homes have become ashes. They do not have materials to rebuild their homes..

“Winter is upon us and many people will be trying to find ways to keep themselves warm. For those living in shack settlements this is very difficult as we have to watch our homes are not burnt.”

According to Abahlali, the community has been waging a long struggle to secure a proper electricity supply at the settlement.

“We continue to live in the shacks of indignity. We are only important when it is time for elections.”

 The organisation appealed for assistance for families who have been left destitute by the fire.

“Many of the people who are affected are women. We will need food, clothing and building materials.”

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