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Over R190m needed for Garden Route fire relief efforts

Wildfires killed seven people and destroyed hundreds of homes along the Garden Route in June.

FILE: A wheel barrow sits abandoned in White Location, an informal settlement in Knysna, that lost 40 shacks to fire. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre needs close to R200 million from the national government for fire relief efforts in Knysna and the Bitou Municipality.

Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde met with the Garden Route Rebuild Initiative steering committee to get an update.

Wildfires killed seven people and destroyed hundreds of homes along the Garden Route in June.

The provincial Disaster Management Centre is applying for R194 million from its national counterpart.

The additional funding will go towards tackling the damage caused by the runaway fires in June.

About R50 million will go towards asbestos removal and R37 million will be used for environmental rehabilitation.

The Eden District Municipality is assessing the air quality in three locations to check asbestos levels.

Forty-five environmental jobs have been created in the wake of the fire to ensure high-risk areas are stabilised to prevent mudslides and erosion.

GALLERY: The Garden Route fires in pictures

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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