It is hard to put in words the heartbreak and sadness that we feel today. Our neighbouring town has basically been burnt to the ground. I woke up this morning realizing how lucky I am to get out of my own bed in my own house and to go about business as normal. Though this morning it was with a very heavy heart thinking about the hundreds of families that aren’t that lucky today. Their whole life has been uprooted and destroyed within the blink of an eye. The fires have raged for four whole days and although it is under control now, the firefighters are still fighting patches of fire. The raging winds we experienced just fuelled the flames and destroyed everything in its path.
Up to date there are approximately 200 people who have lost their homes in Knysna alone, we are still awaiting news from Plettenberg Bay and Port Elizabeth. There are also thousands of people in the informal settlements who have lost their homes. Five people have lost their lives in this fire of which three were a family with their three year old son. They died 15m from their home trying to escape the flames. One of the other deaths was a young fire fighting volunteer. His bravery will always be remembered. We are grateful that there weren’t more deaths but it doesn’t take away the pain and heartache for those families.
The face of Knysna will never be the same again. Knysna has always been the pride and joy of the Garden Route and for most of you, if you think about South Africa, that is probably one of the places you have gone or would like to go.
I would like to make a plea for Knysna today. If you are in South Africa and would like to help out these people with food, clothes, pet food, blankets, diapers and other necessities for those with babies, etc, DHL has offered their services free of charge and will bring down aid to Knysna from anywhere in the country.
If you are not able to give in that way, but would like to lend a hand, you can deposit money into the following bank account :
Account number : 62349898398
Branch name : First National Bank, Centurion
Branch code : 261550
Reference : KNYSNA
Thank you for your assistance and let’s all help rebuild this beautiful town!