A fire, on Tuesday, destroyed the shack of a homeless family squatting outside the fence of a Rondebosch retirement village.
Quintin Mulwitsky, from Woodside Village management, says he was alerted to a fire at around 6.30am, and they called the fire department.
The shack was on the bank of the canal next to the M5 and the Klipfontein Road turn-off.
The fire was extinguished after 7am, according to City Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse.
“This appeared to be an illegal structure erected adjacent to the canal. A single structure was destroyed and three persons were displaced,” he said.
“It would appear that the occupiers were busy making a brazier fire inside the structure.”
Mr Mulwitsky said the shelter had been home to a couple and their child.
“I got in touch with the ward councillor, Katherine Christie, who got in touch with social workers to assist the family.”
Ms Christie said social workers did their best to get the homeless into rehabilitation programmes or to reconnect with their families.
Now that the state of disaster was over, the City would have to find solutions for homeless squatters, she said.
“Many residents should not have to worry if fires are made near shelters that are located near a residential area,” she said.
The City’s social services did not respond to questions by deadline.