Investigate Shack Fire, Says Mlaba

Mayor Obed Mlaba: "Anyone caught making illegal electricity connections will face the full might of the law

Story By: S’CELO KHUZWAYO

Anyone caught making illegal electricity connections will face the full might of the law. Mayor Obed Mlaba sounded this warning after a fire destroyed shacks at the Burnwood Road informal settlement in Clare Estate recently. A man aged 32 was killed and 15 people were left homeless. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but residents have blamed illegal electricity connections. Other possible causes are unattended stoves and candles. The Municipality’s Disaster Management Unit and NGOs have provided relief. Mlaba called for an investigation into the cause of the fire and said if illegal electricity connections were involved, those responsible should be brought to book. “Let there be a full investigation and if there are culprits, they will have to face the law,” he said.

Councillor Nomvuzo Shabalala, who chairs the Health and Social Services Committee, said they had long ago recommended that such fires be properly investigated. Councillor Nigel Gumede, Chairman of the Housing Committee, said, “The worry here is that those people who start fires usually escape while those who are peacefully sleeping die as a result of fire.” Exco member, Councillor Thembi Nzuza said many people had lost their IDs in the fire and the Municipality needed to help them get new ones so they could register and vote in the elections.

khuzwayosc@durban.gov.za