It’s the festive season for all, but for some, who live in close proximity and without electricity, it’s also fire season. In the last week, hundreds of Cape Town people have lost their homes in shack fires, and they won’t be the last. Meanwhile, emergency service delivery is facing challenges of its own. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
In just over a week, the latest fire in Kosovo, Cape Town, left 120 people homeless. The chairman of the community leaders’ forum, Lonwabo Jako, blamed the same resident for devastating fires in 2013 and 2014. In Masiphumelele, meanwhile, another 40 homes were destroyed and 110 people left homeless, with the City of Cape Town and a number of NGOs delivering emergency relief. That fire spread after a stove was left unattended. Continue reading
05 July 2016
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA
The Burning Season is Here
Shack fires are a constant danger. But that danger becomes more serious in winter. This is because during winter people who are living in shacks are trying to keep warm. As a result people resort to making fires which increases the risk of their homes being burnt. There was a serious fire in the Foreman Road settlement in Durban in the past month leaving hundreds of people destitute. On Sunday five people lost their lives in the fire that burnt down the Plastic View settlement in Pretoria. On the same day another fire broke out in the Kenville settlement in Durban which left 76 families without homes and their documents, work clothes and school uniforms burnt. Continue reading
Published in The Mercury as ‘The Dynamics of Informal Housing’ on 12 December 2015.
The Transit Camp is a Form of Social Control
Development is often held up as the answer to some of our most pressing social problems. Corruption is often seen as a key threat to attaining the efficient ‘delivery’ of developmental gains. But development and corruption are often – although of course not always – phenomena best understood as strategies for securing political containment. Continue reading