Pretoria – Donations poured in on Mandela Day on Sunday for residents of Plastic View, east of Pretoria, after a fire razed the vast informal settlement on Saturday night, killing three people and leaving at least 26 injured, the city council said.
Through the department of community and social development services, the community at the settlement will be provided with 500 hygiene packs, 200 blankets, 200 mattresses and 150 food packs, Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams said in a statement.
“In addition to the city relief efforts, many community members and volunteers have come together to assist by donating much needed items. Thank you to Tshwane residents who provided donations in the spirit of Mandela Day,” he said.
“The NGO LIFT has been a key organisation helping to coordinate these efforts. The city would like to thank our residents for their kindness and assisting those in need. We hope these will encourage many others to also assist where they can.”
Mandela Day is observed each year on July 18, the birthday of South Africa’s globally revered former president Nelson Mandela who died in 2013. On his birthday, people around the world are encouraged to perform acts of kindness in his honour.
Williams said emergency service teams responded swiftly on Saturday evening to extinguish the blaze.
He said the Moreleta Gemeente Church had also helped mobilise the community response after the fire and offered displaced families, particularly women and children, a place to sleep.
“The City of Tshwane, working with our communities and volunteers will continue to monitor the situation and provide support,” the mayor added.
The Plastic View informal settlement, which mushroomed and expanded amongst the leafy suburbs of Pretoria east, has faced stiff resistance from homeowners and businesses who accuse the informal dwellers of fuelling rampant crime in the area.
The settlement is home to people from different provinces of South Africa as well as foreign nationals mainly from neighbouring Zimbabwe and Lesotho.
Fires have previously broken out in the informal settlement, particularly in winter.
African News Agency (ANA)