Temporary relocation areas for fire victims taking shape

The temporary relocation areas (TRAs) for residents affected by the Imizamo Yethu fire are taking shape.

On April 12, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille declared the settlement a local disaster area, and also announced four TRAs, two of which – Hughenden Estate and Penzance Estate – would only be utilised if required.

Providing an update this week, ward councillor Roberto Quintas said the TRA at the Hout Bay Sports Complex had now been completed, accommodating some 300 families in shacks erected on the open field alongside the AstroTurf. “Site 2 (near Disa Primary School) is also progressing well. Some 80 families are now being accommodated at Site 2A, while Site 2B, which had been used as a parking area for the primary school, is being prepared. The old derelict fire station at Site 2C is in the process of being demolished. As soon as this has been cleared, we can start to accommodate residents.”

It is envisaged that 180 families will be settled on Site 2. “Once these families have all been settled, we can aggressively move forward with the superblocking of Imizamo Yethu and Dontsa Yakhe,” Mr Quintas said.

Consultation with the residents was ongoing, and 10 days ago, were introduced to the building contractor who will be responsible for tarring the superblock area in preparation for the introductions of access roads and services. “In rezoning the structures, the key thing is to keep residents off the pipe track.”

He said all these projects were running concurrently, and it was very difficult to provide timelines on when they would be completed “We are hoping to have the sports fields returned to their normal state in three months. The City is working hard to ensure everything is done as quickly as possible.”

Mr Quintas said the upcoming rainy season and the fact that building would occur on uneven, difficult terrain would present challenges to the City. “But we are making progress,” he said.

* A vegetation fire that broke out on the mountain slopes above Imizamo Yethu on Tuesday afternoon, May 2, was quickly brought under control.

Helicopters from Table Mountain National Parks and emergency vehicles from the City arrived on the scene mid-afternoon, and the fire was extinguished shortly after 5pm.