More prevention efforts needed to stop shack fires

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Caucus Leader

The tragedy of shack fires in Gauteng continues, with 180 shacks burning down yesterday at the Jumpers informal settlement in Cleveland, east Johannesburg. About 600 people there are now homeless, along with those from a shack fire in Kliptown earlier this week, which killed a four-year-old boy.

More prevention efforts are needed to stop shack fires. This includes solar lights to replace dangerous candles, and safe stoves that don’t spill fuel when tipped over.

Over-crowding of shacks is a major problem, which is why the fire spread so devastatingly at the Jumpers informal settlement.

The provincial government should push local authorities to work with residents in informal settlements to ensure proper gaps between shacks.

DA ward councillor Alison van der Molen is assisting the displaced Jumpers residents. She can be contacted at Tel: 083 441 9325. Donations are urgently needed and can be dropped off at the Cleveland police station.