08 July 2023

Port Shepstone – An early morning fire outbreak in the KwaMasinenge informal settlement, located in the Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality of the Ugu District, has caused devastation, destroying approximately 111 households.

In response to this tragic event, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has swiftly activated the disaster management team, along with the KZN Social Development, to take immediate action in addressing the aftermath of this aggressive blaze.

Preliminary reports indicate that the fire has resulted in the unfortunate loss of one life and has severely impacted over 300 people who were left homeless.

Government officials have taken charge of providing essential humanitarian aid to the fire victims, including hot meals and much-needed relief supplies.

The cause of the fire, which occurred during the morning hours as residents were preparing to leave for work, remains unclear.

Provincial MEC for Cogta, honourable Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, extends her heartfelt condolences to the family that lost a member due to this fire disaster.

She further commends all stakeholders, including the South African Police Services, Social Development, Red Cross, Wimpy and other non-governmental organizations, for their swift response to the incident.

The provincial government has assembled a dedicated team to conduct a thorough assessment of the situation and determine the full extent of the damage.

Dedicated disaster response teams are working tirelessly at the scene to prevent the fire from spreading to undamaged homes while simultaneously assisting the affected individuals.

All provincial departments are mobilizing their resources to ensure a coordinated response, working around the clock to assist the affected communities.

Priority is being given to those who have lost important documents, such as identification documents, birth certificates, and Sassa cards.

Furthermore, the department appeals to all community members in the province to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions, such as ensuring heaters or stoves are turned off before sleeping, particularly during winter, to prevent hazardous incidents.

Efforts are underway to provide aid and disaster relief kits to all families affected by the fires.

These households have been evacuated and relocated to safe places to ensure their well-being and safety.