Some 600 people living in Fish Hoek south of Cape Town have been left homeless after a fire destroyed around 150 shacks in the area, South African Press Association (SAPA) reports. The blaze broke out early in the morning of 8 October while residents were asleep. The cause of the fire is unknown. The city authorities said they would provide emergency shelters, food and blankets for the displaced residents as well as building materials so they can reconstruct their homes.
Shack fires are a frequent occurrence in Cape Town, where hundreds of thousands of people live in poverty in high-density slum areas. Just a few days before the Fish Hoek blaze two people were killed and a further 200 left homeless in a fire caused by a gas explosion in an informal settlement in Factreton east of the city centre. The Vanguard Bridge, which passes overhead, was also damaged in the blaze causing major traffic problems.