South Africa

Cabinet minister's Newlands home destroyed in Cape Town blaze

A government minister’s residence in Newlands was destroyed by the fire that ravaged Cape Town, public works and infrastructure minister Patricia de Lille said on Monday.

The property belongs to the department of public works and infrastructure (DPWI).

“Thankfully, no-one was hurt and no-one was at the property at the time,” the department said in a statement.

Family members of one minister and two deputy ministers were evacuated from Walmer Estate properties on Monday as there was an immediate threat to property when the fire moved over Philip Kgosana Drive.

“DPWI continues to monitor the situation closely and are working with the local SAPS to ensure that we do all we can to support the efforts of the firefighters and SAPS to protect lives and property.

“We also extend our 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 as well as offer all kinds of help to students and families who have had to evacuate their homes," said the department. “We know that the very best effort is being made to bring the fire under control and extinguish it and wish all our firefighters and support teams strength as they continue to battle the elements.” said Zara Nicholson, spokesperson for De Lille.

The department said it was in contact with the various ministries to establish the level of support needed but they had managed to secure alternative accommodation.

SAPS advised affected families not to return to their houses due to heavy smoke and strong winds in the area.

In Groote Schuur Estate on Sunday the fire came close to the home of deputy president David Mabuza but police worked with the firefighters and the blaze was contained without causing damage to the property.

TimesLIVE

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