South Africa – Getting electricity was so exciting!
21st century life, September 11th 2009
In South Africa’s informal settlements, there are on average 10 shack fires a day, with over 200 people a year losing their lives. The one-room huts are assembled using plastic, cardboard and corrugated iron and built closely together, so fire spreads rapidly. In the eThekwini district of KwaZulu-Natal, which includes Durban, over 900,000 people live in informal settlements and, without electricity, people are forced to use parafin stoves and candles. Abahlali baseMjondolo, a movement which campaigns for decent housing held a Shack Fire Summit last November to raise awareness of the issues and to commemorate those who have died. Zodwa Nsibande lives in the Kennedy Road settlement and was burnt badly in a stove accident in 2006.