But they had reason to smile when organisers and supporters of the Oh Dam Cultural and Heritage Festival at Clanwilliam Dam gave them textbooks and non-perishable goods. The value of the textbooks is more than R50 000.
“We found that many residents of the 53 houses burnt were left with only the clothes on their backs. We asked for non-perishables because there is no infrastructure, no place to store things, so we cannot bring furniture, clothes and bedding. There is a warehouse in Cape Town that is full of those things that have been collected, but it can’t come here because people don’t have houses now,” said Camissa Solutions chief executive Lovetta Bolters, who arranged the collection and handover of the books and goods.
The organisation is also donating 52 beds, to be delivered when the houses are ready.
Local councillor Rhoda Witbooi said: “Wupperthal didn’t look like it looks today. One’s tears still flow when you see the losses these people suffered. But I told them God has a goal with everything. He speaks why didn’t the church burn? The church was untouched.
“We need to bury the past and build a new Wupperthal.”
Witbooi said 53 temporary structures were being erected on the rugby field, and the hostel was also being fixed. The cleaning of the area and removal of asbestos has been finished.
“It was so sad to witness how 53 children had to live in one classroom,” she said.