Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers held engagements on Tuesday with residents of Masiphumelele in Cape Town who have taken occupation of temporary emergency structures after a devastating fire.

Simmers said: “It is important to once again point out that this is only temporary shelter.

“We’ve commenced with statutory processes and upon conclusion, we will commence with long-term housing solutions for the most vulnerable and qualifying residents by providing permanent shelter using sustainable building technology.”

During December, a devastating fire destroyed approximately 1,100 informal homes.

ALSO READ: Govt to build permanent housing for Masiphumelele residents after shack blaze

To date, 400 emergency structures have been constructed, while 321 have been handed over to fire victims.

The balance of 79 will be handed over this week, while the construction of more units on the sports field will commence in the coming week.

“The construction of these structures commenced late in January and thus far, the primary water line has been reinstated within the newly demarcated access tracks, 32 chemical toilets have been delivered and installed, with a further 40 to be delivered this week.

“There are also 16 standpipes in the area so that residents do have access to water.

“A fence on the wetland boundary has also been erected so that the wetland is protected while ensuring houses are not flooded during the winter rainy season,” Simmers said.

READ MORE: Sisulu wants W Cape to declare fire-ravaged Taiwan, Masiphumelele ‘disaster areas’

One of the recipients of an emergency structure, Gcinalitshane Nosicelo whose husband recently died, said: “I am happy and sad because we have a home again, but my husband is not here.

“The house is very nice, and my children and I will make this place comfortable for us. I’m also looking forward to when we will receive our permanent homes.”

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