Gaga family appeals for help after fire

Nozipho Gaga shows Vukani where the fire started and the damaged house.

The Gaga family from Khayelitsha are facing a bleak festive season and are appealing for help after their RDP house was guttered by fire, on Sunday November 12.

It is believed the fire started when a candle fell down and came in contact with an electrical cable, around 10pm. All their belongings were destroyed in the fire.

They are now unable to rebuild the house or do anything as none of them work.

The family of eight have no idea where they will get the material to build their home. The family currently shares a one-roomed shack donated by the community. Other members of the family are staying with friends and relatives.

A devastated Nozipho Gaga said their only source of income was the children’s social grant. She said they inherited the house from her parents and had lived in the area since she was born.

When Vukani visited the family on Thursday November 16, the family had gathered at the one-roomed bungalow. Ms Gaga said they were woken up by screams. The house was already in flames when they woke up. She said the priority was to save everyone’s lives and there had been no time to salvage other belongings.

She said all of them were left only with the clothes that they were wearing. “When we woke up, the only thing that was important was our lives. We couldn’t think of anything else other than that.

“Whenever I think about this I just have a headache. I have no idea of how are we going to rebuild our lives,” said Ms Gaga. “The children are about to write exams and their books have been burnt. I pleading to anyone to assist us in getting our lives back.” Ms Gaga thanked her neighbourhours for providing them with food and the other basic needs.

Sisanda Gaga, 22, said the fire spread at an alarming rate but she was grateful that no one had died or was injured during fire.

She said she hoped that they could get help quickly because she feared that the people who were currently helping them would get tired of doing so.

She said she had been in a deep sleep when the fire broke out and she had no chance of getting her clothes or other belongings.

“I don’t even have any underwear. The clothes that I’m wearing I got them from my friends. I was wearing a sleeping gown when the fire occurred,” she said.

City of Cape Town fire and rescue spokesperson,Theo Layne, confirmed the incident.

“Eight people were displaced and accounted for and no cause was determined,” he said.