After a fire ripped through 49 households in the Marikana informal settlement in Cato Crest, the community is beginning to rebuild.
The Marikana informal settlement in Cato Crest awoke on Sunday morning to a fire that started in the Nqobile section of the settlement. The section is named after the late Nqobile Nzuza who was shot and killed by a police officer during a protest against evictions.
Nomasamson Dlamini, a 38-year-old woman was killed in the fire while a teenager sustained serious burns on his arms, legs and head. The fire destroyed 49 households leaving the residents with no belongings.
Duduzile Hlephu, one of the people affected by the fire, told The Daily Vox that they didn’t have any food or blankets and were in need of any help they could get. “Everything has been burnt. Right now we are sitting outside and we are struggling,” Hlephu said.
A call was put out on social media asking people to send vouchers using the Shoprite website to those affected. Abahlali baseMjondolo, a shack dwellers movement advocating for rights of informal settlement residents, also provided their banking details for people to assist those affected.
There was great support and the community were able to buy groceries and blankets. Hlephu said these will help a lot [with the rebuilding of the community]. The teenager who sustained the burns was also doing a lot better.
On Wednesday, the Abahlali baseMjondolo national council together with the local council in the Cato Crest settlement handed out the food and blankets to those affected by the fire.
In March 2021, a fire in the settlement destroyed 17 households, leaving more than 20 people homeless. This was in the Stock 8 area which is 500m away from the Marikana section which had another fire in December, leaving 70 families homeless.
Speaking to IOL at the time, Mqapheli Bonono, deputy president of Abahlali baseMjondolo, said, “We are pleading with the municipality to work closely with progressive organisations in the informal settlements. We want officials to put measures in place to avoid such incidents,” Bonono said.
If you would still like to assist those affected, you can get in touch with them through the following contact information. Shoprite vouchers can be sent to Duduzile Hlephu to assist the affected. Here is the link.
Duduzile Hlephu 078 209 5908
Siphokuhle Makhwenkana 073 222 9369
Thapelo Mohapi 074 774 4219
Mqapheli Bonono 073 067 3274
Or you can donate to Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA:
Name of account holder: Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement SA
Bank name: First National Bank
Bank Address: 92 Queen Street, Durban,4000
Account number: 62786238230
Branch: Durban, Queen Street
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ