The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Sipho Hlomuka has deployed disaster management teams to the uMngeni Local Municipality where 300 shacks in Ward 3 are believed to have been destroyed when a fire ripped through in the early hours of this morning.

While details are still not clear, it is believed that a fire broke out at 2 AM this morning in the Mthulweni informal settlement, which quickly spread and engulfed many other shacks.

Firefighting teams have been on the scene since the early hours of the morning to bring the blaze under control. One fatality has been reported in this incident and assessment of the extent of the damage are ongoing.

Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka expressed condolences to the family of the deceased.

The department of Cogta will be coordinating the provision of interim relief to the victims of the fire through working together with the uMgungundlovu and uMngeni Municipalities.

Houses destroyed in Nkandla veld fires, resident urged to be vigilant

In another separate incident that took place yesterday, an estimated 20 houses were destroyed when a veld fire broke out in wards 6 and 11 in the Nkandla Local Municipality.

In this incident, no injuries or loss of life was reported. MEC Hlomuka has dispatched disaster management teams to the affected areas to provide interim relief to the affected families.

MEC Hlomuka has also deployed Community Development Workers who are working together with disaster management teams in assessing the extent of the damage.

Cogta MEC has urged residents across the province to continue to be vigilant to the dangers posed by runaway veld fires. He has appealed for residents to behave responsibly by not creating unnecessary fires. “It is important that we all play our part in preventing veld fires. The current conditions across large parts of our province make it rife for veld fires to get out of hand easily. We do not wish to see such incidence take place within our communities hence we are calling on all our residents to be responsible. Those that smoke are urged to dispose of their cigarette stumps responsibly” said Hlomuka.