Cape Town - Theewaterskloof Municipality in conjunction with humanitarian-aid organisation Gift of the Givers (GOTG) has initiated relief efforts in the Waterworks informal settlement in Grabouw following a devastating fire that broke out at a fruit juice company.
The incident at the weekend left nearly 200 people destitute after the blaze ravaged Elgin Fruit Juices and spread to Gaffley’s Transport Services before jumping across the road into the informal settlement area next to the Grabouw water treatment works.
A bus from Gaffley’s, one private vehicle, three formal houses and 66 informal structures were destroyed in the blaze.
Theewaterskloof Municipality spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said following assessments by the municipality’s Joint Operations Centre, engineering crews had been dispatched to assist the affected victims to clear the disaster site.
“The municipality has involved local community structures to assist with the logistical arrangements and identify the affected fire victims.
“To date, 95 blankets have been handed over to the victims and 44 building starter kits are being transported to the site, while the remaining building material is currently being sourced,” Solomons-Johannes said.
“The municipality has also activated Eskom to come into the area to repair and restore power. The Department of Home Affairs has also been activated to assist with lost identity documents and the SA Social Security Agency to provide social relief of distress.
“Theewaterskloof Municipality is grateful for the support and donations received from the local churches, local businesses and the community.”
GOTG spokesperson Ali Sablay said the organisation’s rescue teams were conducting assessments and assisting with feeding the displaced victims.
“On Monday (today), our teams will be providing the affected victims with the full humanitarian package consisting of blankets, mattresses, food parcels and baby essentials.”
In a separate incident in Wesbank, Cape Town, three children aged 1, 4 and 9 died in a fire that burnt through a home in Baxley Crescent on Saturday morning. City Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said the department was alerted to the incident at 2.15am.
“A total of 24 firefighters were dispatched to the scene,” he said. “When they arrived, firefighters found several structures burning. They managed to contain and extinguish the blaze just before 4am. Firefighters recovered the bodies of the children in one of the informal structures … and the scene was subsequently handed over to the SAPS.”
Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said Mfuleni police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire.
Anyone with information that can assist with the probe is requested to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.