ALEXANDRA residents are rebuilding their homes after a massive fire destroyed hundreds of shacks on Thursday afternoon. More than 400 shacks were reported to have been destroyed, leaving over 1 000 residents stranded. Residents walked around the scene of the fire picking up pieces of material in an attempt to put structures together. They said they were praying a storm would not come until they had finished putting up new shacks. According to Oupa Sako, a proportional representation councillor, it is understood that the fire broke out after two men fought the day before. One of them returned the next day with a group of other men for a revenge attack. Among those who lost all their belongings is Mmapule Mphakhi (34), a single mother of three children. She told Daily Sun she moved to Greenville in Alexandra, north of Joburg, in 2015 to look for work and raises her kids by selling fruit at the Pan Africa Mall. “I was at work when I received a call from my neighbour saying I should rush home as our shacks were on fire. I thought of my two kids, who I had left in the care of my neighbour,” said Mmapule. “When I arrived I could not believe my eyes. My shack, along with many others, had burned to the ground.” Mmapule is one of many who have been sleeping in a shelter that was put up after the fire. Two of her kids, aged four and three, are housed at a nearby school. “I pray that we get help with building materials for the sake of my kids,” she added. Individuals, government departments and organisations including Gift of the Givers have been providing help in the form of food, water and blankets. Gift of the Givers said shortly after the fire they moved a mother who gave birth at their logistics centre in Bramley. Prophet Paseka “Mboro” Motsoeneng donated ready-made shacks and said he would be giving more this week. Department of Home Affairs spokesman Thabo Mokgola said officials were working to help residents with IDs. Police spokesman Captain Mavela Masondo said they were investigating the cause of the fire. No one has been arrested.
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