South Africa: ‘We Have Nothing’ – Fire Survivors Need Urgent Support

South Africa

Many survivors of the fire outbreak in Johannesburg, South Africa, now find themselves in a world of uncertainty as their temporary emergency accommodation expired on 30 September.

Development Diaries reports that while civic organisations have since taken the lead in providing survivors with food and cloths, many of the survivors say they are tired of receiving empty promises from the government.

The Gauteng Department of Health reported that 74 people, including 12 children, died in the 31 August fire.

It is understood, according to a Daily Maverick report, that the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia (KAAX) have been working with multiple individuals and organisations to help victims of the 31 August fire.

Meanwhile, many survivors say they have not heard from the City of Johannesburg or the government about what will happen to them following the expiration of the emergency accommodation.

‘We cannot go because we have no money. We have nothing. We do not know what to do’, Daily Maverick quoted a victim, Vuyiswa Mthembu, as saying.

Mthembu, it was gathered, ran a hair salon at 80 Albert Street and her husband had a spaza shop in the affected building.

She said another survivor who is staying at the Hofland Park Recreation Centre could not afford to travel to Diepkloof to identify her daughter who died in the fire so she walked all the way to Soweto from Bezuidenhout Valley.

As reported by Daily Maverick, the survivors are in desperate need of grief and trauma management services, identity documents, food, and permanent housing solutions.

Development Diaries calls on the Department of Social Development in South Africa and other relevant agencies in the country to respond to the urgent needs of the survivors.

Photo source: Daily Maverick


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