Cape Town - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has donated her prize money for being the “newsmaker of the year” to residents of the Agstelaan informal settlement in Valhalla Park, Cape Town.
Ten days ago, a fire swept through about 350 shacks and left 1 400 people destitute.
Madonsela wrote an e-mail to staff on Monday to say she had decided to donate the prize money from Rapport newspaper to the Valhalla Park community. “They needed the money more than any other charity.”
Residents started to rebuild their homes as calm was restored to the area.
Last week, the police fired rubber bullets at protesters when violence broke out after some residents were unhappy about the council’s response to their plight.
The city is providing building materials and has handed over 120 building kits to residents. A kit contains 25 sheets of corrugated iron, wood, a door and a window.
Madonsela’s spokesman Oupa Segalwe said earlier on Monday they had not yet decided to which charity or organisation the R5 000 prize money would go.
“She decided to donate the money after she saw what happened in Valhalla Park on the news,” he said.
“Madonsela believed the funds would make a difference to the lives of the people.”
Segalwe said Madonsela was humbled by the confidence the public continued to show in her office.
“I am always mindful of the fact that although the accolades are personalised, the work being recognised is the outcome of the collective efforts of the entire public protector team,” Madonsela said.