More help for Joe Slovo fire victims

Nolwazi Majikazana had been in high spirits, praising God at an Easter weekend church service in Philippi when she got a call from her neighbours who had devastating news for her. Her shack had been completely destroyed by fire.

The 29-year-old mother was amongst more than 1 200 people who had been left homeless after a fire swept through Joe Slovo informal settlement at Langa on Saturday April 16, destroying more than 300 structures.

Leading bread manufacturing and distribution company Blue Ribbon visited the area last Saturday and donated 300 toiletry packs as well as bread.

Recounting the events of that day, Ms Majikazana told Vukani that she thought her neighbours were perhaps exaggerating, but when she arrived at her shack, she felt her world collapsing.

Now she faces the challenge of rebuilding her shack – and her life – without the resources to do so.

“My child is 11 years old and her school uniform has been completely destroyed. I am appealing to everyone to please help me buy my child the school uniform.

“I have no words to describe how hurt I am and now the biggest challenge that I have is rebuilding my life when my only source of income is my child social grant.

“I’m humbling myself to the public to please assist me as I have no other way of buying the needed material to rebuild my shack. This fire has completely destroyed my life and made things extremely difficult,”she said.

She said that while the toiletry packs might seem like something small to someone else, to her it mean everything.

Blue Ribbon sales representatives, Mongezi Mdabuu, said it was critical for them to lend a helping hand to the affected families.

Community leader, Bulelani Yoko, said he had a sense of appreciation for the generous support they had been given by many private and local non-governmental organisations.

He said while they were lucky that no one had died, many were still battling to rebuild their lives and made an impassioned plea to government to build them proper houses.

Joe Slovo residents who lost their belongings when a fire destroyed their shacks patiently wait for donations