Cape Town - After a sombre festive season, residents in Dunoon were given reason to smile on Thursday when they received disaster relief packs.
Ilitha Labantu, in partnership with the Church of the Latter Day Saints, has donated disaster relief packs to the Dunoon families whose homes burnt down before Christmas.
Resident Simphiwe Thanta said they had a sombre festive season after more than 50 people were displaced from the Thembeni informal settlement in Dunoon.
“This was not the first fire incident. In December 2022, our homes were razed by a blaze. And then we had this fire, it was very devastating because it seems like every year we have to buy new furniture and appliances.
“Most people bought uniforms and stationery during the year to stockpile for the following year and some have their stokvel groceries. They lost it all.
“Our Christmas holiday was dry and very sad because we didn’t have food, and some were sleeping in the community hall and others with their relatives.”
He said there have been relief organisations who donated some items.
“We couldn’t wait for the new material to rebuild, so we decided to use the old and burnt iron sheets.
“We are grateful that Ilitha Labantu and the Church of the Latter Day Saints have come to donate food to us.
“They told us they would come back and hand out school kits so the children can be ready for back to school.”
Ilitha Labantu’s spokesperson Siya Monakali said this is the first of many drives.
“Today we are going to be in Browns Farm, Philippi at the public library, where 180 households were affected by a blaze also in December.
“We partnered with the church to ensure we provide for those affected and also ensure within the relief we managed to prioritise school going children with uniforms and stationery, and food and clothes for babies.
“What we did is the extension of our food security. We are the provincial food distribution centre for the Western Cape.”