A fire that tore through Khayelitsha Mall in the Western Cape in the early hours of Tuesday morning has been contained, but fire services are still battling to fully extinguish the blaze.
The fire is understood to have started in the storeroom of a Shoprite outlet, and quickly tore through the deli and bakery.
“We received the call at 07:38 of a shop alight at Khayelitsha Mall. We have about 10 firefighting appliances and several specialised vehicles with approximately 45 staff members on the scene,” said City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse.
“The firefighters managed to contain the blaze to the storeroom area. However, partial damage to the deli and bakery was sustained when a section of the wall collapsed. The fire has been contained, but it will take a considerable time to extinguish the fire.
Residents are concerned about what this will mean for people in the area who are preparing for life under lockdown. On Monday 23 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would be under nationwide lockdown from midnight Thursday until 21 April 2020.
“So where are we going to buy our food stuffs when they decide to burn Shoprite Khayelitsha? Because we only have one close superstore now (SPAR). Yhooo” said a Twitter user.
“Khayelitsha Shoprite burnt down this morning. Even more of a struggle for our people to shop before the lockdown,” said another.
The case has been handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and no injuries have been reported thus far.