Weather conditions have improved overnight in the Eden District of the Southern Cape after run-away fires swept through about 20 suburbs of Knysna and surrounding areas on Wednesday and Thursday.
James-Brent Styan, spokesperson for the Western Cape Local Government’s MEC Anton Bredell, said that today it is colder and there is less wind. Another contributing factor is that new firefighting teams have been deployed overnight. He says 80% of the fire line has been contained, but is still not fully under control.
According to him between 3 000 and 4 000 people remain displaced across the region. This comes after almost 10 000 residents were initially displaced. At least 300 structures have been totally destroyed.
Those affected remain in community halls and other places of refuge and shelter. Food items and other necessities are being provided through the help of aid agencies. “We will advise them going forward as to when they can return to their homes.”
He says displaced residents from affected informal settlements are, however, also in dire need of building material in order to return and rebuild their homes.
They have been receiving aid from across the country. People can donate food items, especially non-perishable goods, blankets and warm clothes.
The international logistics company, DHL Express, has partnered with government in the Western Cape to deliver donated goods, free of charge, to the Joint Operations Centre in Knysna, says Styan.
The drop-off point in Bloemfontein is at DHL Bloemfontein; Corner of Brill & Haarburger Streets, Westdene.
OFM listeners and Bloemfontein Courant readers who wish to contribute can drop off their donations at Central Media Park at 7 Christo Groenewald Street, Bloemfontein.
Mimosa Mall is also a drop off point for donations. Residents can drop off water, food, blankets and clothes at the Mimosa Mall Info Desk.
Cash donations of any amount can also be made to help affected victims. They can be paid into the Algoa Cares Charity account. These funds will be made available to the Eden Lions and the POPS Foundation, to support the victims of the fires.
Bank account: ABSA Bank
Account number: 406 199 3224
Branch code: 632005
Reference: Algoa Cares Rescue