As residents of the Plastic View informal settlement, picked up the pieces following a fire that claimed three lives, an NGO that works in the community has asked the public with donations which include blankets, cooking gears and building material to help those facing the fire scandal. It is said that more than 500 people were left homeless, after about 100 shacks were destroyed by the fire.

Residents have started on the project of rebuilding their home with the little that they have and found from those who are willing to help with good hearts. With weather temperatures set to drop this week due to the cold front, the SA Cares for Life NGO has urged people to donate these essentials as many residents were forced to sleep on their pieces or land to avoid losing it to others.

“The food donations are coming along really well, but the people still need blankets as well as pots. “There is great teamwork among the residents as they try to rebuild their lives,” said Sanet Fegan of SA Cares for Life. “Our school site has become a community centre where the children are housed and can play safely under supervision, while their mothers keep guard of their stands and fathers make plans for rebuilding them,” they added.

On a article published by Rekord they allegedly spoke to some of the women at the informal settlement, who shared their experiences of the ordeal. Gladys Tshamaano (47) said she and her housemates were sleeping when they heard someone screaming “ku ya sha (there’s a fire).” “We went out and saw that the blaze was near. We couldn’t do anything, but try to wake our neighbours up so they could escape,” she said.

“All our belongings are gone. All four of us, including my seven-year-old child, managed to escape unharmed. But I am tired from everything that happened: the running, panic and sleeping without a blanket,” Tshamaano added.

Pamela Dhliwayo (35), who is pregnant with her second child and lived with four other people in her shack, said that she has lost everything which includes the clothes she had bought for the baby she is expecting. “I need clothes for the baby, I could not save a single thing from the fire, It’s incredibly overwhelming to start all over again when we have nothing. But we have to rebuild, we would appreciate any help that we can get.” She said.

The women also made a plea for building material, food and clothes. Anyone willing to help, may contact Fagan at 060 997 5257.

By: Mpho Khena.

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