By Vincent Lali and GroundUp Staff
For years the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre coordinated relief efforts for disasters in the city. It usually did a good job. But in 2018 the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) took over this function. It’s off to a terrible start.
Fire victims are battling to restore their lives after a fire destroyed their shacks in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein, in February.
Community leader Thobani Mathole said: “Residents are used to getting disaster relief from government immediately after a fire destroys their shacks. Now, they wonder why the government is not helping them.”
Mathole said the Wallacedene fire victims did not receive food, blankets and a once-off grant after the fire. About a dozen people are affected.
“SASSA officials arrived, took details of the fire victims and promised to bring food and blankets, but they never returned to the fire scene again,” he said.