Help family rebuild home

2018-10-23 06:00
Ashika van Wyk with her children Fatima and Moegsin.

Ashika van Wyk with her children Fatima and Moegsin.

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A Heideveld family lost everything inside their Sneeuberg Road home after it burnt down last Sunday.

Ashika van Wyk, a 41-year-old mother of four, explains she was at a neighbour’s house when her son came running to inform her about a fire that had started inside her home.

The fire, which is currently being investigated, not only destroyed the family’s entire two-bedroom home, but it also affected two other homes on the semi-detached property

Fire and Rescue Services confirmed the fire spread to two other homes, but it (fire) was extinguished before any major damage could be done. The other two properties both sustained damage to their roof structures, while one of them – the house next door to Van Wyk’s – also lost an entire bedroom.

Van Wyk says kind residents of Heideveld have since come forward to assist with clothing and blankets for the family, but much is still needed to rebuild both the family’s home and life, from scratch.

“We lost everything in the fire. There is absolutely nothing left and everything has turned into complete ash. We were told not to move into the house, or even enter it due to the severity of the fire and smell,” she says.

“We are now forced to seek assistance from the public, mostly for my children. They (children) lost all their school clothes and shoes, along with their school books and stationery.

“They have no clothes and shoes at all and the only items they have are that which they wore on the day of the fire.

“My 14-year-old son, who is currently doing religious studies out of town, will next week return to find his entire wardrobe and belongings burnt out. He too would need clothing­.

“If the community can come forward and help us with anything it will be much appreciated. My children are as young as seven, 11, and 14. My eldest son and his baby also lost everything in the fire.”

Aaisyah Meyer, who offered to have the family stay with her for the time being, says she was shocked to see the City of Cape Town drop off a container for a lone resident who lives next door to the family, just days after the fire.

“A pensioner who lives alone next door to the family was taken in by her children after the fire. Her bedroom was the only section damaged on her house,” explains Meyer.

“The City must bring the Van Wyk family a container as well. This woman is unemployed and depends on a grant to see to her family. She is currently sleeping on a floor, waiting for her home to be fixed.

“We all know that her damaged home won’t be fixed overnight. What about her children? The ward councillor must act fair and see to this needy family too. This woman is left with nothing at all and is in great need of assistance.”

Ward councillor Anthony Moses says the container issue, which caused major conflict with the neighbours, is currently being resolved.

“When the City officials visited Van Wyk in the week of the fire, she said that she was sorted and has a place to stay with her children for the time being. The container was given to those residents, as an alternative, and who did not have accommodation at the time,” he explains.

“I am not sure what has transpired since the time that we did assessments with Van Wyk. We want to have this issue sorted as soon as possible in order for all the families to be accommodated.

“We are in contact with the relevant departments, who would first have to see to the proximity of the building.

“Housing officials will be going out to do assessments, and to see if it is suitable to place a container inside the house, or if the structure would need to be thrown down.”

An early childhood development centre was also damaged during the fire. The school’s principal says her roof was severely damaged and she fears it might collapse on the 30 children she cares for daily.

When People’s Post contacted Moses last Thursday, he was in a meeting with two of the homeowners affected, as well as the school’s principal, in order to sort out the issue.

To assist the Van Wyk family with clothing or other items, call 079 097 0012.


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