The Newlands residence, which belongs to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), was completely destroyed by the Cape Town fire on Sunday afternoon.

DPWI minister Patricia De Lille on Monday, 19 April confirmed that “no-one was hurt and no-one was at the property at the time”. Here’s what we know.

Cape Town fires update

DPWI minister’s Newlands residence destroyed

De Lille and the DPWI team extended their gratitude “to the emergency teams, especially firefighters and SANParks team, who have been working tirelessly to get the fire under control”.

The minister also confirmed that family members of the DPWI minister and two deputy ministers were evacuated from Walmer Estate properties in Newlands ahead of time due to the risk.

“Unfortunately, we can report that one Minister’s Cape Town residence […] was completely destroyed by the fire on Sunday afternoon. [On Monday], family members of three members of the executive have been evacuated from Walmer Estate Properties as there was an immediate threat on Monday morning as the fire moved over the Philip Kgosana Drive”.

Media statement by Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille.

Residents were informed not to return to the area as “it is not yet completely safe”.

Deputy Minister’s second residence unscathed

The fire also approached Deputy President David Mabuza home in Groote Schuur Estate on Sunday.

“In Groote Schuur Estate, the fire had come close to the Deputy President’s residence but police worked with the firefighters and the fire was brought under control quickly in the area. There was no damage to this property”.

De Lille explained that the DPWI was “in contact with various ministries to establish the level of support the families need”. However, the families have “all managed to secure alternative accommodation”.

De Lille extended her thanks to the “various organisations and Capetonians who have once again been quick to open their hearts to support the firefighters in this massive task.

Firefighters battle Cape Town fires

On Monday, SANParks extended their gratitude to all Capetonians who donated towards firefighters’ efforts. TMNP Park Manager Frans van Rooyen explains:

“Scores of community members and businesses came in numbers [on Sunday] at the Newlands Firebase to drop off food, water, energy drinks and an assortment of other necessities required”.

Van Rooyen said it’s “not an easy fire which will probably see firefighters fighting the blaze for at least three days, and all the help received will go a long way for the firefighters”.

Anyone who wishes to donate may drop off donations at the Newlands Firebase off the M3 highway.

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Presh JM Reporter

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