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

Gift of the Givers, Shoprite support UCT students affected by Cape Town fire

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Apr 19, 2021

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JOBURG – Non-profit organisation the Gift of the Givers has provided more than 4 000 meals to UCT students, and firefighters who were fighting the blaze from yesterday.

UCT students had to be evacuated from their residences as a runaway fire swept through parts of Table Mountain and the university. The fire also gutted parts of the UCT library.

The Gift of the Givers said it was accepting donations with items needed by students, such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other items.

The organisation sprung into action providing immediate assistance to displaced students, and support in the form of drinks and energy bars to the firefighters who were fighting the blaze.

The Shoprite Group has also started serving warm meals to UCT students who were affected and displaced by the fire.

Through its mobile soup kitchen, Shoprite said it had started serving students who were housed at the Mupine College in Pinelands, and it would continue to serve meals at more locations providing temporary accommodation for UCT students for as long as necessary.

Lunga Schoeman, the CSI manager for the Shoprite Group, said: “We will always avail our resources to help when disaster strikes.

“We remain in close contact with the Volunteer Wildfire Services and Gift of the Givers regarding any additional aid required to support relief efforts.”

The Shoprite Group said Checkers continued to support firefighters battling the blaze with essentials including water, energy drinks and fruit.

Checkers Sixty60 had also committed to credit customers the R35 delivery fee for all orders delivered to the Sea Point Fire Station on 4 Kloof Road, Salt River Fire Station on 346A Victoria Road or Cape Town Fire & Rescue on Roeland Street.

Customers wishing to donate non-perishable food items can do so at the collection trolleys that have been made available at the following Checkers and Checkers Hyper supermarkets in the Western Cape: Rondebosch, Kenilworth, Plumstead, Meadowridge, Tokai, Canal Walk and Brackenfell.

Meanwhile, a suspect in his 30s was arrested this morning, in connection with the fires, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety, JP Smith said..

’’There is a lot of speculation currently about additional fires that were started, and whether the original fire was an act of arson. This will form part of investigations, but the City can confirm that one suspect in his thirties was taken into custody last night in the vicinity of Devil’s Peak,’’ Smith said.

Smith said the suspect had been spotted by a resident, who had tracked him down with the help of his sons and the family’s dogs.

UCT also suspended its academic calendar today and Tuesday.

UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said: “No classes, tutorials, laboratory work or tests will take place on Monday, 19 April or Tuesday, 20 April. We will assess the situation and provide further updates before midday on Tuesday.

“The safety of students and staff is paramount. For safety reasons, campus will be locked down and no one, other than emergency services, will be allowed access. We are all anxious about the extent of the damage to the Rondebosch campus. We will provide updates as soon as we are able to do so.”

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