By Josiah Mucharowana and Taruberekera Masara- MDC- Alliance Pretoria weighed in on distraught Zimbabweans caught up in a fire at Sakabuka Street informal settlement in Montana, Pretoria, by donating a gamut of goods sourced from party members resident in the country.
The devastating fire broke out earlier this month on the 7th of June affecting more than 250 Zimbabweans.
In an interview, MDC- Alliance Pretoria Chairperson Jerry Chauke said the fire is suspected to have been caused by an electrical fault since there are a lot of illegal and unsafe connections in the area.
Food, blankets, baskets, clothes and shoes all with an estimated value between R60 000 and R80 000 were some of the goods donated, Chauke said.
“There are a lot of unsafe connections in the area. Some of our members donated in the form of cash which will help in buying supplies to rebuild destroyed structures,” he said.
In addition, he said the fire was further incensed by three gas cylinders that burst and caused more damage.
“Three gas cylinders burst causing damage to many houses’, he said.
Sakabuka Street is a squatter camp housing South Africans but has foreign nationals
from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zambia and Malawi.
“On Monday 7th June 2021,last week we received a sad news from our MDC Alliance Pretoria District Organising Secretary leader Morphius Moyo to the effect that Montana Informal Settlement was razed down by fire,” he said.
“We do have a MDC Alliance branch in Montana. More than 250 people were affected and we quickly asked for donations from our members across South Africa,” he said.
“Our members responded quickly. We got donations ranging from blankets, clothing, food parcels among other things,” he said.
Pretoria district leadership, Chauke said, received the donations on behalf of Montana leadership and handed over the items to the affected families last Saturday.
“The event was emotional.
We want to thank our members for going out of their way to help our fellow countrymen in times of need. We would also want to take this opportunity to thank our members in KZN for representing the party at a funeral of our fellow member there”, he added.
On the other hand, the chairperson said mobilisation programme for Citizens Convergence for Change Agenda is going ahead smoothly.
“Our districts across South Africa are going out to help branches mobilise people to join MDC Alliance and encourage them to register to vote’
“These past weeks we had Western Cape, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Botswana, Namibia, Mpumalanga and Kwazulu Natal all going out to their branches to mobilise.The programme is yielding positive results,” he said.
Of late there have been incidences of fire breakouts in South Africa with citizens leaving heaters, and lanterns unattended to overnight as an option to fend off cold temperatures.
South Africa is experiencing rolling electricity blackouts due to inadequate supply, faulty power stations and the designate parastatal Eskom is battling tooth and nail to supply power nationwide.
The power utility is juggling loadshedding schedules as a result.
Last month two security officers died in their sleep allegedly from carbon dioxide inhalation when they left a heater unattended overnight in their locked room.