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Imizamo Yethu: How you can get involved

By Danielle van Wyk

This past weekend saw the fire and devastation of Hout Bay’s informal settlement, Imizamo Yethu. The fierce blaze resulted in the displacement of 15 000 people, four deaths, and have left many in shock.

Having lost everything, the need for basics is great. From kids needing school supplies, food and clothing to animals needing shelter and care, there’s much you can do to help the affected families and their pets. With authorities, like the fire department, only being able to do so much, the help of the broader Cape Town residency has been enlisted.

Here’s how you can do your bit in getting involved:

-Thula Thula: “A number of times each year, fires across Hout Bay leave many residents with little more than the clothes on their backs. Thula Thula Hout Bay was started by a group of residents, who realised that there is a need to be more prepared to offer support when this inevitable tragedy strikes,” stated the organisation. They are effectively an organisation that acts as first point of call for charities and the NGOs in the Hout Bay suburb.

Should you have the time the organisation needs volunteers for sorting, distribution and fundraising. They are currently running a donation drive, for non-perishable items, household items, clothing and toiletries, at designated drop-off points. Alternatively monetary donations are also welcome. 

-Backabuddy: “BackaBuddy is a South African online crowdfunding platform that is designed to help individuals raise funds for causes they are passionate about. These causes can range from registered non-profit organisations to individuals who need funds for a variety of reasons, including medical procedures, studies, etc.,” stated Backabuddy.

Goods and monetary donations are currently being welcomed. Donations to date are atR346 038.52, with the target set at R500 000.

-DARG – Domestic Animal Rescue Group: DARG is a pro-life organisation that rescues, cares for, sterilises and re-homes abused, neglected and abandoned cats and dogs. DARG is based in Hout Bay, Cape Town.

“Several of our kennel hand staff who are residents of Imizamo Yethu have lost everything. We are therefore also asking for people to donate second hand clothing, toiletries, bedding etc.,” stated the organisation.

You can also donate:
-Dog/cat food, (wet/dry/tinned) 
-Donations towards our Vet Accounts, 
-Bottled water.

Monetary donations are also welcome.

-Gift of the Givers: This disaster relief organisation, has to date provided aid to over 42 countries and raised R1.8 billion in doing so. They currently assisting with the transportation of donated goods as well any monetary donations.

Details are available on their Twitter page, with the drop-off point for goods being at Hout Bay International School.

-SARC – South African Red Cross:The South African Red Cross Society has gotten on board as they implore the public to donate. 

-Pick n Pay:Nationwide retailer, Pick Pay, has also stepped in as they generously donated all the food and drink, and some blankets, from the cancelled Cape Argus cycle tour to the victims this weekend. The retailer has in addition availed all their Western Cape stores as drop-off points for goods.


-Cape Union Mart: Outdoor adventure equipment store, Cape Union Mart, have opened their doors and joined the drop-off points list, as they’ve availed their Canal Walk, Constantia and Quay Four stores. Household items and non-perishable goods are preferred.

-Hout Bay fire station: The local Hout Bay fire station has also been declared a drop off point for those in the area, wanting to donate any items. With a specific request for baby and food items. 

Sea Point fire station: For all those staying in and around the Sea Point area, the local fire station has availed itself to being a drop-off point, and the public is encouraged to pop by and donate any items they are able to. 

-Uber: “Uber is working with the Cape Town Disaster Management Team and has created a temporary vehicle view called UberCommunity that will allow Cape Town riders to request a vehicle, at no cost, and will collect donations,” stated Uber.

UberCommunity is set to be open on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 March between 10am and 3pm.  

“Uber is encouraging all Capetonians to donate items to the affected parties. Every donation, regardless of the size, will make a huge difference to those impacted by the fire. Riders are encouraged to labelling and pre-sort items where possible, and the list of suggested items are as follows:

  • Baby, kids and adults clothes/ shoes
  • Basic toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush)
  • Sanitary pads and nappies (size: baby to toddler)
  • Non-perishable foods and bottled water
  • Household items (kitchen, bedding etc)
  • Stationery items (pens, paper, books)
  • Large carry bags or boxes to pack the donated items

How to donate

  1. Open the App on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 March, between 10am - 3pm
  2. Select the orange card along the bottom of your app saying “Hout Bay Fire Aid”
  3. Tap the card and request a vehicle through the “Hout Bay Fire Aid” view
  4. There is no destination needed, the car will come to you
  5. When the driver arrives - please meet him at your pick up point with your donations boxed and labelled
  6. There will be no charge for UberCommunity

Donations and care packages for the fire fighters and the volunteers are also needed. These must be marked clearly to so they reach the right people. Uber has further highlighted a few items for the hard working firefighters, namely energy bars, chocolates, bottled water, energade and soft drinks.

The City of Cape Town has pledged R30 million to assist in the rebuilding of a section of the community. Residents have further been requested to not rebuild their homes just yet as the provincial human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, reportedly stated: “The intention is to profile the people to understand who will qualify for what. The leadership must assist us to engage with people as it’s not easy to keep people off site. The people are eager to go back.”


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