USING an mbawula is a great way to keep warm but it can also be deadly!

Cape Town has been hit with rain and snow in the last few weeks and more kasi residents than ever are using mbawulas.

Residents from Browns Farm in Philippi told the SunTeam this was one of the cheapest ways to keep warm.

Phindile Dlalisa (36) said: “I never use it when I am drunk.

“A few years ago, my neighbour set many shacks on fire because he lit an mbawula while drinking beer.”

Even though mbawulas are associated with shack fires, residents said they had no choice.

“Buying firewood is cheaper than an electric heater that uses a lot of electricity and does not give enough heat for many people.

“With an mbawula, many people can keep warm in a shack,” Mandla Tlapu (28) said.

Some residents said mbawulas scared them.

Agnes Lebeko (60) said: “You can’t tell people to stop using them but chances are high our shacks may burn down.”

Mayoral committee member for safety, Jean-Pierre Smith, said mbawulas are very dangerous if there’s no ventilation. “With poor adult supervision, young children can be exposed to this danger. People using them should be very careful.”