The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Provincial Government on Monday visited the Clairwood informal settlement to assess the extent of the damage after a fire incident had destroyed more than 200 shacks last week.
KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube told media that government officials needed to understand the impact on the community and express solidarity with the affected Clairwood residents.
“Government has mobilised resources to provide emergency relief to those affected. Shelter, food, and other essential supplies are being arranged for displaced residents,” Dube-Ncube said, adding that attention is also being paid to long-term recovery.
The Premier pointed out that a big challenge facing the province is that people are invading privately-owned land, which is not suitable for housing construction.
The other problem, she noted, is people who already own RDP houses, but decide to stay in informal settlements so that they can rent out their houses.
“We cannot give them services because it’s privately-owned land and we can’t provide building materials here because we will be doing something illegal.
“We need to make sure it’s legitimate people who get assistance. Normally when such a tragedy happens, you find a lot of people come and register, claiming they are victims,” Dube-Ncube said.
The Premier committed that the actions taken and promises made during the visit will be closely monitored, “as they hold the potential to bring hope and relief to the hundreds of affected residents, who are patiently awaiting assistance in their time of need.”
She is also expected to meet with local authorities and emergency services to coordinate a comprehensive response plan.