Alpha Ramushwana17 November 2023 | 6:06

Some Marshalltown fire victims don’t feel safe in temp shelters provided by CoJ

The victims of August’s fire in the Johannesburg CBD have been moved to an area in Denver where the city has built over 100 one-room corrugated iron structures for them to temporarily stay in.

Some Marshalltown fire victims don’t feel safe in temp shelters provided by CoJ

Portable bathrooms and shacks constructed for Usindiso building fire victims in Denver, south of Johannesburg, on 16 November 2023. Victims were relocated from a shelter, where they had been seeking refuge since the blaze gutted the hijacked building in August, and killed close to 80 people.

JOHANNESBURG - Some Marshalltown fire victims who were recently moved to corrugated iron shelters in Denver said they do not feel safe, as the doors have no locks.

In August, a fire ravaged a five-storey hijacked building in the inner city of Johannesburg, killing 77 people and displacing hundreds.

To temporarily house the victims, the City of Joburg built 100 one-room corrugated iron structures and a few toilets on land meant to store impounded cars.

However, there is no access to electricity, and the victims have to share one communal tap for water.

They have been told that the arrangement is temporary, but a father of two, who asked to be kept anonymous, said he wouldn't be surprised if he is still there in the next few years.

“They've moved us to shacks. Some of them are still being built. We have no electricity, and my child is only four months old.

“Yesterday, I had to use open fire methods to cook, and I fear that our homes will be reduced to ashes again.”

But he said he appreciates the shelters, as he has no choice but to go where the municipality has placed them.