The South Africa Soong Ching Ling Foundation together with the Chinese Consulate in Cape Town have heeded the impassioned plea made by the public to assist the fire victims of SST informal settlement who lost their belongings in a blaze nearly a month ago.
The two organisations donated food hampers to the value of R100 000, to the more than 100 residents who gathered at Kilombo village in Mandela Park, Khayelitsha, on Thursday November 22.
Each hamper contained sugar, flour, rice, tea, tins of fish and beans and fish oil, and the handover was attened by Members of Parliament, community leaders, senior officials from the Chinese Consulate and dignitaries from the foundation.
Foundation chairperson, Chen Qing, said when they were informed of the plight of the residents, they felt obliged to extend a helping hand – particularly because the festive season is around the corner.
She said among the organisation’s members were doctors, teachers, business people and professionals who had devoted themselves to community upliftment, with a specific focus on education.
“We hope that the donations goes a long way. We want to relieve stress and bring smiles to their faces,” she said.
Nokwakha Siyo said she had managed to salvage a fridge and bed, but lost everything else in the fire. Ms Siyo said it was a mammoth task to rebuild their lives as her husband was the sole breadwinner in their household.
She said she was glad that the two foundations had opted to help them and that they were grateful to everyone who had extended a helping hand.
ANC MP, Leonard Ramatlakane, said it was in times like these that the spirit of Ubuntu and love should be displayed and called on other business people to also help where they could.
Another fire victim, Mandisa Mjexula agreed that it was not easy to rebuild their lives after such trauma and loss. She said the money that they had planned to use to buy food would now have to be used to replace what was lost in the fire.