Cape Town – Community leaders from local communities are calling on the city to make its position known on providing emergency relief kits to residents whose shacks have burned down.
It comes as the city revealed in a statement that it had rebuilt more than 800 cabins for victims of the Masiphumelele fire who lost their homes in a catastrophic blaze in December last year.
ANC provincial finance and economic opportunity spokesman Nomi Nkondlo accused the city of dishonesty by initially saying it did not have funds to help needy fire victims.
Delft community leader Dineo Masui said currently 11 families were struggling to rebuild their lives after their homes burned down.
Masui said she was keen to help families, but encountered a stumbling block as the city told her that she did not have funds to help people in this regard.
This was denied by the city, which said that due to misinformation residents of local communities feel the city is refusing to help them, on the basis that they did so in the past, but it was only done on behalf of organizations providing humanitarian aid.
Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said: “The South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) is the body responsible for directly activating non-governmental organizations in the event of an emergency. and / or disaster relief.
“In 2017, Sassa changed the delivery of humanitarian aid in times of disaster and / or emergency relief. Prior to this change, the agreement provided that the Center for Disaster Risk Management (DRMC) would engage NGOs in providing humanitarian relief, such as meals and blankets to victims of an emergency / disaster.
“Currently, in the event of an emergency and / or disaster requiring humanitarian assistance, DRMC must inform Sassa of these requests. Sassa in turn now directly activates NGOs to provide the necessary relief. The change came after Sassa reassessed its policies and procedures for funding service providers who provide social assistance to disaster victims, ”said Powell.
Sassa spokesman Shivani Wahab said: “In the event of a disaster, the city provides an incident report and gives us a list of those affected. Our Disaster Unit team will then conduct a site visit as per policy. After the site visit, an incident report is compiled and sent for approval for activation of a service provider to provide disaster relief.
“Note that in the case of people waiting for relief interventions, Sassa depends on the City for information. Activation of relief for affected people is possible once detailed information is provided to Sassa. “