Jack Bloom MPL
DA Johannesburg East Constituency Head
This morning I visited the scene of two devastating shack fires that occurred in east Johannesburg last Sunday.
I was pleased to see that the Johannesburg Metro Council has commissioned the Red Ants to put up shacks to help the victims of these fire disasters.
At the George Goch informal settlement, the Red Ants have put up 157 replacement shacks, using a mix of new and old materials.
The Red Ants have been instructed to put up 280 shacks at the Platform Five informal settlement in Jeppestown.
I welcome this assistance to shack fire victims as the Johannesburg Council has previously done little to assist.
It seems that they have heeded my call to provide shack materials as is done in the city of Cape Town, which has a formal policy in this regard.
The shacks being constructed at Platform Five are 4 by 3 metres in size, which requires 22 zinc sheets and 12 wood poles. No door or other materials are provided, unlike Cape Town which includes plastic sheets and a door.
I hope that provision of shack emergency housing kits becomes a formal policy throughout Gauteng, and have written to Gauteng Premier David Makhura in this regard.
Fire departments should also assist with fire prevention, as more than 1000 shack fires occur every year in Gauteng, causing deaths and hurting the poorest of the poor.