Fire victims: ‘help us claim back our life’

2018-11-15 06:01
Nombuso Ngcingwana with her son Aphiwe Ngcingwana.PHOTO: unathi obose

Nombuso Ngcingwana with her son Aphiwe Ngcingwana.PHOTO: unathi obose

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Nearly a month since the devastating fire ripped through the SST area, in Town Two, the Ngcingwana family is still battling to come to terms with the effects of the inferno.

Like all those affected by the deadly fire, the family lost everything, and it has been an uphill battle to replace their belongings.

More than 1000 people were left homeless when the fire swept through the area on Saturday 20 October, destroying 342 structures. Only Sango Nqeneka(31) lost his life in the fire. However, those left to pick up the pieces, have been battling to get their lives back.

Nombuso Ngcingwana(43) said it has not been easy. While she managed to replace some of her belongings, she has battled to secure the uniform for her nine-year-old son Aphiwe. She is appealing for help.

Since the fire, Ngcingwana said her child had to go to school in normal clothing. Aphiwe is a Grade 3 learner at Chuma Primary School.

“Now he has to go to school wearing his casual clothes and sneakers,” she said, adding that he was lucky because he had managed to save his school books.

Ngcingwana said she has a mammoth task of buying her son the school uniform.

“I’m unemployed, and my husband also works on odd jobs. I feel sad when I look at him going to school wearing old clothes and wishing that I can buy him new school uniform,” she said.

Provincial MEC for education Debbie Schafer’s spokesperson Jessica Shelver said there are 152 learners from Metro East that were affected by the Khayelitsha fire and nine learners from Kosovo.

“Principals have reported that they are assisting these learners with a safe space to study as well as study materials. The district is also providing additional resources to schools as required. Our exams directorate has also confirmed that arrangements have been made for the learners who lost their identity documents in the fire to write the exams,” said Shelver.

Shelver said they are heartened by the support that has been pledge by a number of schools who have appealed to their parent bodies to assist with donations of stationery, clothing, bedding and non perishable food.

This is but one story in the aftermath of a tragedy that befell a community.

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