The recent fire in Masiphumelele that destroyed more than 1000 homes is a truly catastrophic tragedy.
This incident exacerbates the difficult period we are already facing. I would like to extend my warmest thoughts to the community of Masiphumelele at this time. I’d also like to apologise for not personally visiting your community, as I am currently self-isolating, after two of my immediate staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the National Department of Human Settlements Water and Sanitation, the City of Cape Town (CoCT), all organisations, entities, individuals and groups who continues to assist the community during this extremely difficult period.
The CoCT’s immediate disaster declaration must be commended, as it has allowed local authorities to set a process in motion where emergency funding can be requested from the National Department of Human Settlements Water and Sanitation.
As the CoCT is in the process of clearing the site of all the debris, it is critical that we all pull the necessary resources together to further assist this community.
From a Western Cape Government perspective, we’re working hand-in-hand with the CoCT. My Head of Department, Ms Jacqueline Samson, has already embarked on a process of engaging her counterparts at both National and Local Government level about using this opportunity to find more lasting improvements for this community, whilst addressing the immediate need.
This will ensure and activate a replanning process so provision is made for open spaces and roads to improve access as well as move people out of the flood plain which is prone to flooding during the rainy season.
I call on all those who are in a position to assist this community to kindly do so, as the need for urgent and immediate assistance continues in the area.
While there is a particular need for baby formula, nappies and educational material at present, any and all donations are welcomed. Donations can be dropped off at local NPO, Living Hope, directly opposite Masiphumelele on Kommetjie Road. Its website also has a Masi fire link for cash donations.