Many residents from the Somerset West area worked themselves to a “standstill” as fires wreaked havoc.
Ward councillor Stuart Pringle said it was “astounding to see” neighbourhood watch groups mobilise to deliver supplies to fire-fighters and volunteers. They also assisted with evacuation operations.
He said that while the fires are “mostly contained” authorities have had to evacuate three complexes above Sir Lowry’s Village and at least four farms.
“There are two fires. One started just above the junction between Boskloof and Waterkloof. That was early [on Tuesday] morning. The second fire came over the mountain from the Grabouw side‚” Pringle said on Wednesday morning. He said he would report to the joint operations centre in Strand for a briefing.
“I stand in awe of the residents of Somerset West. We had a very bad fire in Nomzamo‚ which is an informal settlement‚ just before Christmas and the response was overwhelming from the residents. We saw that repeated not a month later.
“There were four to five collection points for residents to deliver various supplies to fire fighters and volunteers… The neighbourhood watches in Somerset West deserve a special mention. They mobilised like that – it was astounding to see. The coordinators worked themselves to a standstill.”
He said the cause of the fires is unknown and no casualties were reported.
Edwina Hadfield‚ one of the coordinators of the Gordons Bay Fire Wives group‚ said they are feeding 250 fire-fighters.
She said that while donations are pouring in they are ”still short of food”.
“We give the fire-fighters high-protein food and drinks such as water‚ Engergade‚ BioPlus and Powerade‚” said Hadfield.
They need mince and tomato sauce among other things. Donations can be dropped off at the Gordon’s Bay NG Church.
Meanwhile, Pick ‘n Pay has also jumped on board. The company’s spokesperson Tamra Veley said:
“Those wishing to get water, energy snacks, and eye drops to firefighters battling the fire in Somerset West can drop them off at Pick n Pay stores in the area where there will be specially marked collection trollies. Smaller bottles of water and energy drinks are better than large containers. Thank you!”[Source: TMG Digital/The Times]