Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier also thanked businesses in Cape Town who have stepped up to quickly assist those affected by the fire. Picture: David Maynier/Twitter
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier also thanked businesses in Cape Town who have stepped up to quickly assist those affected by the fire. Picture: David Maynier/Twitter

Outpouring of help from businesses for those affected by devastating Cape Town fire

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Apr 20, 2021

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By KRISTIN ENGEL

Cape Town – As has been the hallmark of South Africans when faced with a calamity, everyone stands together and offers assistance in every way they can. This has again been seen with the outpouring of relief for those affected and impacted by the devastating fire along the slopes of Table Mountain.

Gift of the Givers is preparing three meals per day for the next seven days for evacuated UCT students, and has been preparing personal hygiene packs for the students spread across 29 hostels in response to their need for soap, toothpaste and hygiene items.

The organisation have also launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, and in less than 12 hours local and international donors have contributed more than R64 000 towards their fundraising target of R250 000 to support their various relief efforts.

Vodacom contributed R3 million donated to Gift of the Givers and is providing airtime and data to the students affected.

Spur Steak Ranches donated R50 000 and Double O Cooldrink has made a donation of 3 600 x 500ml bottles of soft drinks to Gift of the Givers.

The organisation also received a donation of water from Engen SA as well as soft drinks from Pepsi and Jive, for distribution to those affected.

GIFT of the Givers serving warm meals.

Uber SA assisted the UCT students who were evacuated by offering two free trips (up to R100 each) from the UCT campus.

Uber has also partnered with the Gift of the Givers to reactivate its Uber Community portal in a bid to help deliver donations made by members of the public to UCT after a fierce fire gutted parts of the institution on Sunday.

MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, the biggest community loyalty programme in South Africa, has also donated R20 000 to Gift of the Givers for humanitarian relief, and R10 000 to Volunteer Wildfire Services for support to firefighters.

Pick n Pay delivered essential supplies (water, eye drops, sunscreen and food supplies) to firefighters as well as cooking meals and delivering them to UCT students, along with drinks and toiletries.

Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, transformation director at Pick n Pay, said they had received numerous requests from customers asking how they can help or donate.

“The emergency services are under immense pressure so we are happy to play a role in co-ordinating the distribution of much-needed donations from the incredibly generous public to those affected by these devastating fires.”

PICK N PAY stores have donated meals to firefighters and UCT students.

The Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen is assisting by serving students warm meals at the Mupine College in Pinelands.

GIFT of the Givers and Shoprite support UCT students affected by the Cape Town fire. Picture: Supplied

Checkers Sixty60 will credit customers the R35 delivery fee for all orders that were delivered to the Sea Point Fire Station, Salt River Fire Station or Cape Town Fire & Rescue on April 18.

Lunga Schoeman, CSI manager for the Shoprite Group, said they were in contact with the Volunteer Wildfire Services and Gift of the Givers regarding any additional aid required.

Primarashni Gower, on behalf of the University of Pretoria, said they offered support to the staff, students and parents of UCT and would do everything in their power to assist.

“I would like to remind the UCT community that you are not alone in your efforts to recover from this disaster. We are thinking of you during this difficult time and we wish you much strength and wisdom. We know that you will recover and rise again.”

Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier also thanked businesses in Cape Town who have stepped up to quickly assist those affected by the fire.

“Through the co-ordination efforts of Fedhasa and Ubuntu Beds, over 29 accommodation businesses provided 560 rooms to almost 1 000 UCT students on Sunday, April 18, and the support continues to increase.”

He said ongoing accommodation will be provided to students until such time as they are able to return to their residences.

He added: “Old Mutual have offered their premises in Pinelands as a collection point for donations and their kitchen facilities as a base for the preparation of over 12 000 meals which have been distributed by Gift of the Givers and Hospital Heroes to the students.

“Restaurants and fast-food outlets such as Den Anker, Burger King, Tigers Milk, City Grill Steakhouse and others are also providing meals to UCT students.

“In fact, just this morning I had the privilege of visiting Den Anker to meet with management and the team working hard to provide meals to the students. With the assistance of donors, they've already provided 40 meals to students on Sunday night and 350 meals on Monday night,” Maynier said.

“These are just a few examples of the many impressive efforts made by the private sector, many of whom have been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic yet are showing great initiative to support our fire-fighting heroes and those displaced by the fire.

“These efforts could also not have been achieved without the help of hundreds of volunteers who have given generously of their time to assist.“

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Cape Argus

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