South Africans might not be clear who in the ANC is winning the battle, but there is little doubt that it is the people of the country who are losing, writes Howard Feldman.
Although the catastrophic fires that raged through Knysna was ignited by someone, there is no detail on whether the blaze was started deliberately, according to a report.
There was no evidence that the devastating fires in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in June were set deliberately, according to Knysna Fire Chief Clinton Manual.
''I cannot say that the fire was set deliberately,'' said Manual as the report into the fire which killed seven people and destroyed at least 1000 houses was released.
Scientific analysis showed that the fire probably started with pine cones in a clearing on private land in a mountainous area called Elandskraal.
There are no pine trees in the area, but there was a footpath and an access road, which indicates human activity at the clearing.
''The probable cause comes down to that pine cone,'' said Manual.
Here is a breakdown of some of the estimated costs relating to the fire in Knysna:
Damage to health infrastructure: R1.3m
Human settlement: R61m
Environmental damage: R134m
Transport and public works: R8m
Social development: R25m
The media briefing has ended.
Manuel gives clarity:
Human activity - the fire was started by somebody. However, one can't say if the fire was started deliberately.
#KnysnaFireReport It sounds like Knysna Fire Chief is building a case that confirms the fires were intentionally started. #knysna— Natalie Greve (@NatsGreve) August 14, 2017
#KnysnaFireReport It sounds like Knysna Fire Chief is building a case that confirms the fires were intentionally started. #knysna
Two theories at play during investigation:
1) Fire started in the non-V area and caused by lightening.
2) Fire started in V-pattern area and is possibly man-made.
Knysna Fire Chief Clinton Manuel, explaining cause for the June 7 disaster. Very technical and scientific briefing. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/Felm8APDk4— Abra Barbier (@BarbierAbra) August 14, 2017
Knysna Fire Chief Clinton Manuel, explaining cause for the June 7 disaster. Very technical and scientific briefing. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/Felm8APDk4
@knysnatourism @KnysnaPlett @KnysnaMuni @knysnafires Official 7th June feedback meeting on Knysna Fire about to begin pic.twitter.com/k1GNeDy0F9— Elle PhotoSA (@EllePhotos) August 14, 2017
@knysnatourism @KnysnaPlett @KnysnaMuni @knysnafires Official 7th June feedback meeting on Knysna Fire about to begin pic.twitter.com/k1GNeDy0F9
Knysna victim discovers life-changing note in donated jacket
A hand-written note in a jacket pocket has changed the life of Quentin Haman, a victim of the Knysna fires.The leather jacket was donated by Inge Coetsee, a benefactor from Pretoria and eventually landed up with Haman, Netwerk24 reported.
Note from good Samaritan in Pta helps fire victim> https://t.co/6GIYb0Quq7 @DanielleMariaG #Knysnafires #knysnafire #knysna2017 pic.twitter.com/SnHh8OQB9p— Pretoria Rekord (@RekordNewspaper) July 27, 2017
Note from good Samaritan in Pta helps fire victim> https://t.co/6GIYb0Quq7 @DanielleMariaG #Knysnafires #knysnafire #knysna2017 pic.twitter.com/SnHh8OQB9p
Knysna fire led to largest deployment of firefighting resources in SA history - authorities
The Knysna fires led to the largest deployment of firefighting resources and personnel in a single incident in South Africa's history.
Western Cape disaster management and fire rescue services chief director, Colin Deiner, said the following were deployed to battle the blaze:
78 fire vehicles,
6 Oryx military helicopters,
4 Working on Fire helicopters and
2 fixed wing bomber aircraft
He called the deployment of resources the biggest success of provincial disaster services.
The Knysna municipality will release a report at 14:00 on the fires that killed seven people and damaged or destroyed at least 1 000 homes in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
The report is expected to shed some light on how the fires started. They raged between June 6 and 10 and were fanned by gale-force winds.
Where is the crowd-funding for the destitute?
It didn't take long for South Africans to start crowd funding for the families affected by the fires in Knysna, offer their homes and start Facebook groups to help find people who went missing in the chaos. These acts are to be admired and it probably made things a little easier for those who lost their homes to the fires.
But the efforts are slightly skewed.
Where was the crowd funding or private sector to offer time, money or blankets to our brothers and sisters in Mfuleni or Lavender Hill, who just hours before the fires in Knysna, also lost everything?
The burning question:
There were questions about whether the fires were started deliberately, and it is hoped the report could shed some light on this.
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