Minister Sisulu Announces a Permanent Solution for Fire Ravaged Masiphumelele Informal Settlement

The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu has proposed that permanent structures be built for victims of a fire that took place at Masiphumelele Informal Settlement in the Western Cape. Minister Sisulu made the announcement following a meeting with stakeholders, including the Western Cape Province, the City of Cape Town as well as NGOs working to provide relief to affected members of Masiphumelele.

Fires have destroyed the settlement several times starting from 2006 with the recent one ravaging over 1000 structures. The Minister and Provincial Government have committed financial resources towards the project. The latest solution is aimed at preventing similar destructions from occurring again. The structures to be built for the recent fire victims are with be fire retardant.

In the meantime, community members are being housed in temporary accommodation, including a community hall. Minister Sisulu has had discussions with her counterpart from the Social Development Department, to ensure that affected community members receive assistance until the permanent solution is realised.

Land parcels have also been identified to build permanent houses for the deserving and qualifying South Africans, including the recent fire victims.

“We want to convey our message to the people of Masiphumele that we are with you in these trying times. While we are sad about the tragedy that has occurred, we are happy that no life was lost this time around”, said Sisulu.

Minister appealed to the leaders to partner with government in bettering the lives of the entire people of Masiphumelele. She raised concern about the occupation of the wetlands where the fire recently occurred.

“We need to protect and preserve our wetlands, it is our responsibility as a collective. We have taken a decision to cordon off the wetland at Masiphumelele. We are a water scarce country and we have to protect our wetlands,“ added Sisulu.

Minister conveyed her gratitude to the various stakeholders who have heeded a call to support the people of Masiphumelele and encouraged them to continue extending a helping hand to those in need.

Yesterday Minister met with community leaders, Western Cape Provincial Government and the City of Cape Town to receive a briefing on what is being done to accommodate the immediate needs of the affected community members. The stakeholders also tabled their proposals for a lasting solution that will see an end of the fire disasters at Masiphumelele.


Enquiries: Steve Motale, Ministry Spokesperson on 083 784 0719

Issued by the Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Govan
Mbeki House
240 Justice Mahomed Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria


Press Release Date: 
Tuesday, December 22, 2020