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Gift of the Givers working around the clock to support Masiphumelele victims

About 1,000 homes were destroyed, leaving thousands of people displaced.

Masiphumelele residents salvage what they can in the aftermath of a fire on 18 December 2020. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Gift of the Givers on Saturday said it was doing everything it can to ensure Masiphumelele fire victims have food, supplies and shelter following Friday's blaze.

About 1,000 homes were destroyed, leaving thousands of people displaced.

The organisation has joined many others in efforts to provide humanitarian relief, but more assistance is needed.

Thousands of residents have been left destitute with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Several organisations have lent their support to the families and animals affected by the devastating fire whose cause is being investigated.

Gift of the Givers' Ali Sablay said with Christmas days away, teams of volunteers were providing baby care packs, food parcels, hot meals and more.

But with the COVID-19 infection rate on the rise, there's an added threat: “They cannot currently stay in churches and in halls because with Western Cape being one of the hotspots for COVID-19, it’s a risk.”

Sablay said they're working to ensure residents have sufficient shelter in time for Christmas.

Donations have been pouring in from corporates and the public, with Standard Bank donating R1 million as a boost.

But more help is required: “Some of the school children have lost all their clothing, people have lost everything they had and the need is still huge.”

Anyone able to assist with donations or funds have been urged to contact the NGO.

Non-profit organisation, Living Hope, also called on the public to assist residents affected by the Masiphumelele blaze.

Living Hope founder and director, John Thomas: "Help is needed and goods can be dropped off at Living Hope at any time outside of curfew hours and volunteers are also needed to help."

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato said that he had signed the necessary documents required to initiate the declaration of a local disaster.

"I had the discussion with the Western Cape Minister for Local Government, Anton Bredell, and the city manager and we jointly agreed that we need to declare a local disaster so that we can make use of financial aid due to the fact that as the City of Cape Town we do not have all the funds to deal with all these other disasters."

Additional reporting by Kevin Brandt.

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