Gift of the Givers: It's all systems go to help Knysna Fire victims​

Picture: WorkingOnFire

Picture: WorkingOnFire

Published Jul 6, 2017


The latest updates confirm that about 1 070 houses were damaged to varying degrees or destroyed in the Knysna fire of June 7; of these, about 700 were uninsured in rural, farm, central areas and in informal settlements. 

Gift of the Givers is commencing the repair and rebuilding of the first 100 homes soon. 

The housing project will be supervised by our project manager, Mario Ferreira (cellphone 082 490 2752), who has a team of engineers and building personnel to implement the intervention; local labour to support job creation will be prioritised, only quality materials utilised and destroyed “shacks” are to be replaced by RDP homes of a much superior standard. 

Our aim is to upgrade those affected to achieve a better of quality life for their families.

Ferreira has been engaging the municipality and local mayor successfully and the co-operation has been excellent. 

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, with her director-general, has met with Gift of the Givers, endorsing the project supporting our intervention. 

Standard Bank has contributed R5 million to Gift of the Givers for the reconstruction. Global Roofing Solutions has donated 100 000m of roof sheeting valued at R3 million. 

Any contributions in cash or in building material are welcome as the total construction cost and business support for the uninsured is astronomical.

The Knysna Fire has been the Gift of the Givers’ most comprehensive local disaster response in its 25-year history. Thus far, in cash and kind, we have expended R20 million on the intervention. 

This includes bringing in emergency services personnel, a team of medical specialists, a trauma counsellor, advanced life support paramedics, two ICU ambulances, medical equipment, medicines and other medical supplies. 

Thus far food parcels, hygiene packs, blankets and clothes were distributed to 12 000 people; a large quantity of mattresses, linen, kettles, toasters and irons were also handed out; 1 200 fire fighters were assisted daily with water and snacks; a huge quantity of pet food was handed out to several animal shelters. 

School uniforms were purchased for learners at Knysna Primary and Secondary School who lost their homes. 

We are busy with an active Bee Rehabilitation project for the Knysna region; 240 beehives have been donated and hundreds of hectares of land have been offered to us for the process. 

Livestock and horses have also been catered for. Two weeks ago we contracted the use of 25 super links to commence delivery of fodder to various farms in the Knysna region.

Contributions for the initiatives will be very much appreciated. Deposit into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No 052137228, Branch Code 057525. 

Please send deposit slip for acknowledgement purposes to [email protected] 

Section 18A tax certificates are provided on request. Deposits can also be made through the Gift of the Givers app.

Imtiaz Sooliman

Gift of the Givers


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