Cape Town rallies to help fire victims get back on their feet

2018-10-26 22:26
Pick n Pay employees handed out fruit, bread and water to hungry residents. (Christina Pitt, News24)

Pick n Pay employees handed out fruit, bread and water to hungry residents. (Christina Pitt, News24)

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In its efforts to help communities affected by the recent fires in Cape Town get back on their feet, the City of Cape Town is in the process of clearing debris and issuing emergency fire kits.

The fires engulfed Kosovo informal settlement, Khayelitsha and Overcome Heights in Vrygrond, leaving hundreds of structures destroyed and thousands displaced.

According to the City, the Vrygrond fire, which broke out on Thursday destroyed 304 structures - 288 completely and 16 partially.

"The cause is currently unknown and is being investigated," the City said in a statement.

READ: 'We lost everything' – heartbroken Vrygrond fire victims sleep on soccer field 

It added that the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) was providing social relief and that Shoprite, Gift of the Givers, and the SA Red Cross Society was providing humanitarian relief.

Meanwhile, in Kosovo and Khayelitsha, the reinstallation of services was under way and was expected to be completed soon, the City said. 

According to the City, the materials in the kits provide adequate and immediate shelter for destitute families. 

"The enhanced kits now consist of 25 zinc sheets; 14 wooden poles which are fire-treated; three packets of nails; a door; door hinges; a window frame and a window," the City said. 

"The transportation and distribution of these kits, which comprise large components for dwelling structures, has been a major operation and the teams are working hard to issue the remainder of the kits as soon as possible," it added. 

The City said it remained committed to improving the lives of residents living in informal settlements, saying more than R2.14bn had been set aside to spend on them.

"This includes the upgrading of informal settlements; the installation of taps and toilets; the repairs, maintenance and servicing of toilets; the City's unique janitorial programme; and new electricity installations," it said.

Meanwhile, Pick n Pay has also offered its stores across Cape Town and surrounding areas to accept donations from those who would like to assist families affected by the fires.

"It is important that we rally together to support families and communities in need. We feel deeply upset by the pain that these communities are going through," director of transformation Suzanne Ackerman-Berman said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires  |  service delivery

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