Emergency relief in Midvaal on Mandela Day

By Kwanele Sibanda (on behalf of CORC)

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The process of formalizing a working relationship in form of an MOU between the Midvaal Municipality and ISN has not hindered the undertaking of projects in a joint effort between the two entities. Read more about the partnership in progress when enumerating Sicelo informal settlement and formal recognition of the ISN’d contribution. On Mandela Day, the 18th of July 2013, the ISN, Midvaal Municipality and the Red Ants joined hands in supporting seven households whose shacks burnt down in three different settlements. The causes of the fire were due to candle accidents in two settlements and ‘fire-wood heater’ in the third settlement. The names of the settlements are Komdraai, Pillis Farm and Sicelo.

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The Municipality of Midvaal and their contractor Red Ants joined the ISN’s assistance to afflicted families when they donated building material for the reconstruction of the burnt shacks and also provided each household with a food parcel. To support the ISN teams in respective communities, the Red Ants had a team of ten members. In the handing over of the food parcel to Samuel of Pillis Farm, Roy Ponsonby, manager of the regional Red Ants team, said

We fully understand what you went through and what you are going through. The effort we have put today is only an attempt to help you start afresh your life in the community.

Sipho Vanga, community leader from Ramaphosa informal settlement in Ekurhuleni and coordinator of ISN Gauteng, supported and encouraged the participating residents to remain united and committed to finding solutions to their challenges. The affected settlements are communities that the ISN in partnership with the Municipality and the Red Ants recently enumerated. The data gathered and numbering of all structures assisted a great deal in confirming the certainty of the existence of the structures and the information of the occupants prior to the predicament. For the ISN, Midvaal Municipality and the Red Ants, the Mandela Day formed part of an on-going process of demonstrating commitment to love and unity for one another in building a better South Africa for all.

–     Representing the ISN in Midvaal was Oupa and his team was supported by Sipho Vanga from Ekurhuleni.

–     CORC was represented by Kwanele Sibanda

–     The Red Ants team of ten was led by Roy Ponsoby (Red Ants Manager) and Shane John (Red Ant Scout).

–     The Midvaal Municipality was represented by:

  • MMC Development Planning and Housing – Mr Bongani Baloyi
  • Executive Director: Development Planning and Housing – Mr Henry Human
  • Deputy Director: Housing – Ms Sylvia Nkrumah

–     Councillor – Mike Ndebele

The first settlement we visited was Komdraai.

The original structures before the fire breakout where two shacks that were built on a foundation within a block of dilapidated old farm houses.

The second settlement we visited was Pillis Farm.

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Shack number 26 belonging to Samuel Moalosi burnt down on the 30th of June when he fell asleep. During the incident, he was lucky to sustained only minor injuries, but the trauma of the event was evident. After the incident, Samuel was forced by circumstances to share a shack with his sister that lives with her husband and children.

The third settlement we supported was Sicelo informal settlement.

On the 17th of June four shacks were engulfed by a fire. In response to the incident, the disaster management of the Municipality provided the affected families with tents.