Banks, businesses, and organisations donate millions towards #KnysnaFire

Cape Town – Private institutions have heeded the call by the Western Cape government for humanitarian donations towards the relief efforts for victims of the devastating fires that continue to ravage the Southern Cape.

The companies, including major banks, grocery stores and non-government organisations, have donated over R30m to go towards aiding thousands of displaced residents who lost their homes since the Knysna fires started.

The fire has also left five people dead while completely gutting, schools, businesses, and vehicles. 

Standard Bank on Saturday donated R10m to the efforts.

“It is with hope for a better tomorrow for all those affected, that we at Standard Bank are donating R10 million to the efforts. Our wish is that this will bring some relief to those that have been impacted by the natural disasters in all regions affected by the fires and storms,” said Ben Kruger, CEO of Standard Bank Group in a statement.

FNB and ABSA had on Thursday donated R10m each towards relief efforts. Pick n Pay also donated R100 000.

On Thursday the company made a disaster relief cash donation of R100 000.

Pick n Pay, which has a particularly close relationship with the communities of Knysna through the July Oyster Festival which it sponsors. The festival’s co-sponsors Momentum Group also matched Pick n Pay’s donation.

DHL is delivering 500 blankets Pick n Pay donated, while Tiger Brands has donated 10 tonnes of baked beans and Pioneer has donated 400 boxes of Futurelife products.

Tons of potatoes

“We will also be sending 14 tons of potatoes to be made into pots of food. We know that in the coming days more food will be donated through Pick n Pay from our suppliers and business partners, and we’re tremendously grateful to them,” said Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, Director of Transformation at Pick n Pay.

She said they are working with disaster relief organisations to make sure that firefighters and emergency workers have food, water, and eyedrops delivered to them.

“We’ve sent a disaster management expert to Knysna to help co-ordinate this effort,” she added.

She said donations can be placed in specially marked trolleys at all Western Cape stores, and at the following Garden Route stores.

Lions Club International said they have already collected half a million rands to go towards the efforts from their clubs, including those in the US, Uniondale and Canada.

Airbnb, a US based online market place and hospitality service company, on Saturday said it would aid travellers and displaced locals with accommodation.

Velma Corcoran, Airbnb country manager for South Africa, said they have activated their Disaster Response Tool to assist travellers and temporarily displaced.

Through the tool, travellers whose journeys have been interrupted as well as temporarily displaced locals will be able to connect with local hosts who are opening up their homes at no charge between now and June 30, Corcoran said.

List here

Information on how to reserve a listing or list your space through the tool can be found here.

This is how some organisations and businesses have contributed:

- Gift of the Givers has supplied 32 tons of bottled water, blankets, diapers, food items and tents.Shoprite-Checkers offered the use of a building to store all the supplies, as well as donating supplies from various stores. 
-Massmart, through Makro and Game, have sent six truckloads of supplies including bottled water, blankets, tinned food and dry food items worth R1m.
- Woolworths have given R500 000 to Gift of the Givers to help with the Knysna efforts, as well as donated supplies.
- Kulula airlines offered cargo space on flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg.  

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