The Table Mountain fires that have just begun to be contained have sparked debate in Cape Town once again around homelessness. On Sunday 18 April, the day that the fires began, reports that Table Mountain National Park “surmised that the origin of the fire is from a vacated vagrant fire” were broadcast in the news. However, forensic expert investigating the fires David Klatzow disagrees, saying he is “not convinced” a vagrant is behind the Table Mountain blaze. He is asking for further investigations into both SANPark’s and UCT’s roles in possible negligence that led to the fires getting out of control in the height of fire season when measures should be taken to prevent the spread of fires that do occur.
It is not hard to believe that there is a bigger picture to consider and that placing the blame on a “vagrant” as an easy scapegoat is too simple an answer.