South Africa’s Cold Front Leads to Deadly Fires

Forty shacks caught fire in two different areas of Johannesburg leaving many homeless, while a woman and baby have tragically died in township fires in the Western Cape… all believed to be a consequence of residents battling the intense cold front, which gripped parts of South Africa this week.

The cold weather conditions – which saw snow fall in parts of the country – hit both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The temperature in Joburg dropped overnight to -3 degree Celsius.

Emergency Service spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said 20 shacks in Alexandra and 20 in Soweto were destroyed by fire. Fortunately he said so far no fatalities had been reported.

The City of Johannesburg has adopted an immediate initiative to help affected residents.

Mulaudzi has also urged people to be vigilant when using electrical devices during the cold front.

Meanwhile, in Cape Town a woman died in a shack fire in Manenberg. Four structures were gutted and a nearby house was damaged in the fire on Tuesday morning. City of Cape Town fire and rescue service’s Theo Layne says the police are investigating the incident.

“Four fire engines, one water tanker and one rescue vehicle with 20 firefighters took just under 90 minutes to extinguish the fire. The cause of the fire is not known yet.”

On Monday a fire tore through about 15 shacks in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay, killing a baby and leaving over 40 residents homeless.

Temperatures in the Western Cape and Gauteng are expected to increase tomorrow, Wednesday.