Imizamo Yethu fire victims rebuilding their structures. Community leader Samkelo Krweqe said proper housing was the only answer to Imizamo Yethu’s ongoing shack fires. Picture: Supplied
Imizamo Yethu fire victims rebuilding their structures. Community leader Samkelo Krweqe said proper housing was the only answer to Imizamo Yethu’s ongoing shack fires. Picture: Supplied

Gift of the Givers, Thula Thula roll out relief for Imizamo Yethu fire victims

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Aug 17, 2021

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Cape Town - Over 155 families have been registered by a local non-government organisation in need of basic necessities after their dwellings were destroyed in a fire in Imizamo Yethu on Sunday.

Gift of the Givers and Thula Thula rolled out humanitarian relief on Monday for the fire victims.

Thula Thula Hout Bay founder Joanne Chemaly said there were 11 more families not registered that were still in the Eastern Cape to attend a funeral and had their homes burnt while they were away.

Gift of the Givers spokesperson Ali Sablay said the organisation would provide relief to the community for the rest of the week.

“Teams will be responding with a hot and nutritious meal and hygiene packs, as we know we are still in the Covid-19 pandemic. These packs will be essential as they contain masks, sanitisers as well as baby care packs of nappies and baby formula.

“We will be assisting the community for the next few days and providing them with blankets and necessary items to keep them warm during the cold weather,” he said.

Community leader Samkelo Krweqe said proper housing was the only answer to Imizamo Yethu’s ongoing shack fires.

“It doesn't look like the government is serious in providing people with proper housing. They are left in limbo and are forced to rebuild with the burnt material, as most are not working and cannot afford to buy new building materials.

“Meanwhile people are packed in community halls and are expected to maintain physical distance, which is practically impossible.

The community is awaiting the Deputy Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, Pam Tshwete, who indicated that she will visit us. However, we are not expecting anything tangible coming from political figures, as they usually come empty handed with promises and go, only to come again when there is another fire with the same lies,” said Krweqe.

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas said the City’s Disaster Risk Management requested assistance from the SA Social Security Agency while mopping up services were under way and the victims had started to rebuild.

Quintas said the affected area was re-blocked following the 2017 fires and that this exercise prevented the fire spreading to other parts of the area.

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Cape Argus

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