Fire razes 12 shacks and claims a life

Twelve shacks burnt down in Rabie Ridge.


A shack fire in K60 informal settlement Kanana Ext 4, Rabie Ridge, on 29 July claimed the life of Siyanda Ndaba (20) and left many people destitute.

Ward 80 councillor Makgoba Pagadi said the fire burned down 12 shacks leaving the victims with nothing but the clothes on their back.

“The fire started at one shack and quickly spread to neighbouring ones,” said Pagadi. “Thus far, it is suspected that the fire was started by a candle that was left lit by a drunk person because the fire started at about 1am.”

A resident’s study material that was burnt in a fire in Rabie Ridge.

Pagadi added that the fire service did not arrive and community members extinguished the blaze and prevented it from spreading. The Provincial Disaster Management Centre response team had provided mattresses, blankets and food parcels to all those affected. Gift of the Givers had donated building materials and food.

“If government plans to bring an end to shack fires they must start by providing electricity to informal settlements so that people can stop using paraffin stoves and candles,” said Pagadi.

One of those affected was Menelisi Skele (31) who is studying at the University of South Africa. He said the fire had destroyed all his studying material and assignments.

What remains of people’s homes after a fire in Rabie Ridge.

“I have submitted an affidavit at the university about what happened so that I can be able to redo my work,” said Skele. He added that he could have also been killed in the blaze had it not been for fellow residents who banged on his door to alert him.

Provincial Disaster Management Centre provides mattresses, blankets and food to the affected.

Pagadi thanked members of the community, Stella Maleka of the Metro police and various organisations that had played a role in assisting the victims. The councillor also thanked Greater Midrand Development Centre which is helping the victims to recover documents which were destroyed in the fire.

Share your story if you have lost all your belongings in a fire. Tweet @MidrandReporter

Welisa Nene

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