Shack fire claims life of girl, 15,

Hundreds of residents in Joe Slovo, in Langa, were left homeless after their shacks were ravaged by fire last Friday.

One person died and hundreds were left homeless when a raging fire swept through last Friday.

According to reports, the unidentified girl,15, was locked inside the shack by her boyfriend when the fire started.

At least 47 shacks were gutted. On Saturday, during a visit by City Vision, a trail of destruction was clearly visible. Home owners could be seen milling around, trying to rebuild their lives.

City officials brought building materials to help the victims. Each victim received 25 corrugated irons, a door, a window, two hinges, two packets of nails and a latch.

Ward 52 Councillor Samkelo John, said the fire was caused by an illegal electric connection around 11a.m. He said the shack where the fire started had illegally connected electricity from two different areas.

“Because Zone 30 has a load-shedding problem, the shack owner connects electricity from another electric pole when there is no electricity,” said John.

He claimed the shack owner was arrested for illegal connection after the incident.

The victims currently stay with friends and relatives.

One of the fire victims, Siziphiwe Ndleleni said she only managed to save a bag with her clothes. Everything else caught fire.

“My certificates were saved because I keep them at my brother’s house. My identity document was in my purse. Now I am squatting at my brother’s place,” she said.

Ndleleni, who has been staying in the area for the past eight years, said she was unhappy about the slow progress in the housing development. However, John blame infighting among community leaders, for the slow progress. He said a new development committee was selected on Thursday last week.

As part of the development of the area, John said that some people would be relocated to Delft and Forest Village in Mfuleni.

Langa police spokeswoman Captain Nondumiso Paul confirmed thatv a 15 year old woman was killed in the fire and two people were injured during the incident.

She added that an inquest docket has been opened by the police.