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Still no power for fire-affected families

The fire, which ravaged eight homes and destroyed countless belongings, has left an indelible mark on the Ramaphosa community.

After a fire left 33 families homeless in the Ramaphosa informal settlement near Elsburg Road, residents continue to face severe hardships, particularly the ongoing lack of electricity, as they struggle to rebuild their lives.

Boksburg Advertiser visited the affected families to understand their situation.

Speaking to resident Sibusiswe Saziwa, it was evident the community is grappling with significant challenges.

“Since the fire, we have struggled to make ends meet and survive. With winter approaching, we desperately need electricity. We find ourselves cooking outside with fire and wood.

“The fire’s immediate aftermath has forced us into a precarious position. Without electricity, basic activities like cooking, heating, and lighting are difficult.”

According to Saziwa, financial demands from the local authorities compound the situation.

“We were told we must pay for the electricity meter and cable installation. Most of us are unemployed, so where will we get that money?”

Saziwa added that, despite the disruption, they managed to rebuild their homes, and the spirit of community support was a source of hope.

“We managed to rebuild shacks, and the community has been incredibly supportive.

“We have received many food items and clothes. We are grateful for what the community members donated,” Saziwa said.

Affected resident Lindiwe Dlomo shows the burnt clothes and other items ravaged by the fire.

Ward 42’s Clr Tsotang Motloung said she was actively involved in efforts to restore normalcy for these families.

She took steps to bring their plight to the attention of the Boksburg Municipality.

“I went to the Boksburg Municipality and reported the matter. They told me that for the residents to get electricity, they must pay R1 500 for the electricity meter and cable installation,” Motloung stated.

Recognising the financial constraints of the affected families, Motloung called on the broader community for assistance.

“I know most of them are not working, and we ask community members to assist us with donations so the electricity can be installed,” she urged.

Those willing to help can call Motloung directly on 083 946 8967.

The ward councillor has five tips to prevent fires:
• Keep shacks at least 3m apart to prevent fires spreading rapidly.
• Be vigilant with open flames and heat sources like paraffin stoves, candles and electrical connections. Never leave them unattended.
• Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby to extinguish small fires quickly.
• Be aware of the dangers of illegal and faulty electrical connections. Check for warning signs, like flickering lights, odd smells or frayed cords. Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under furniture.
• In case of a fire, call the local emergency services’ firefighters immediately.

Also Read: Fire devastates Ramaphosa residents

Also Read: 35 shacks razed by fire in Delmore informal settlement


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