City halts shack rebuild to reblock Imizamo Yethu over coming months

The City of Cape Town has confirmed that it plans to reblock the informal settlements in Imizamo Yethu.

Four people died in the blaze and 15 000 people have been displaced after the fire broke out on Saturday.

City representatives met with Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Tuesday to discuss housing issues.

Minister Sisulu says the City of Cape Town's reblocking mechanism will alleviate density concerns, reports EWN.

Reblocking is the process of re-arranging informal structures to widen pathways between homes and open up spaces for roads and communal areas, often using fire-resistant building materials.

The City's Xanthea Limberg says local government plans to redesign the area affected by the fire, but there had initially been resistance from residents.

She claims that the Imizamo Yethu community members have now agreed to the resettlement plan which will ensure that residents have access to proper services.

They've showed a willingness to stop rebuilding their structures to allow the City to clear the land and accelerate the redesigning of the area.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy

Limberg says the City has already drafted the resettlement plan, which could take at least three months, and may see some residents relocated to other areas.

We aim to introduce large sections of reblocking. We will bring in services on the periphery and ensure that there are proper access routes and pedestrian walk ways.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayco Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy

The City is conducting a registration process to help identify the residents who have been impacted by the fire.

Officials have appealed to residents to stop rebuilding their homes and will only tear down erected structures after consulting with all those left displaced.

A community meeting is due to be held on Wednesday afternoon to bring all affected residents up to date.

Limberg advises that thousands of displaced residents will receive shelter from four community centres, several marquee tents at Hout Bay sports field, and additional accommodation arrangements.

Take a listen to Xanthea Limberg and NGO Thula Thula explain what lies ahead:

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