Residents of the ‘the Vlei’ informal settlement in Vygieskraal in Athlone will have to start over after a fire wreaked havoc on Monday afternoon. Two people died in the blaze and approximately 1200 people were displaced. The raging fire destroyed over 300 informal structures. The Gift of the Givers Foundation as well as the City’s disaster management and local community policing forums have already begun assessing the situation and are deciding the way forward for those displaced and injured.
“At this stage, we’re making sure people have meals. We fed quite late last night with the assistance of the local community and community policing forums and disaster management. We also worked out what help the community needs and what we are committing to is to feed the people displaced for the next three days – we will hopefully give them something in the morning and again at the end of the day,” said Gift of the Giver’s director of strategic planning, Badr Kazi.
Kazi indicated that the local masaajid have opened their hearts and doors, assisting those who need space and accommodating officials assisting in managing the crisis.
He says that they are awaiting the completion of a proper assessment of what’s needed, to ensure that aid goes to right people.
“All people need at this stage is support – we need to make sure that they’re fed and hydrated and that they have a place to sleep for the next few days,” said Kazi.
“Today we will work out what needs to be done.”
Meanwhile, Muslim Judicial Council president Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams and first deputy-president Maulana Abdul-Khaliq Allie was among those who visited the site on Tuesday morning and appealed communities to assist.
The MJC has appealed to the public to assist the residents of Vygieskraal “the Vlei” informal settlement in Belgravia, following a devastating fire yesterday afternoon. The cause of the fire, which has claimed two lives, is unknown. An estimated 1 200 people have been displaced after the blaze gutted at least 320 structures. Fire and rescue services said that strong winds hampered their firefighting efforts, but the fire was eventually extinguished before 8pm. Although NGO Gift of the Givers fed and provided blankets to 800 affected residents, there are hundreds more who need assistance. MJC President, Sheik Irafaan Abrahams, and First Deputy President, Moulana Abdul-Khaliq Allie, was among those who visited the site this morning and appealed communities to assist. Donations can be dropped off at Bridgetown and Belgravia Masajids.
Posted by Voice of the Cape Radio – VOC on Tuesday, 22 October 2019
The cause of the fire has not yet been identified.