Several philanthropic organisations and community groups have rolled up their socks and jumped in to do whatever they can to help those affected by the fire currently blazing in Cape Town, with the public requested to assist as the blaze continues to wreak havoc into the night. 

Gift of the Givers have stepped in to assist the University of Cape Town (UCT), where students and faculty staff have had to evacuate campus buildings caught up in the devastating fire, and the SPCA have urged those able to assist in their efforts to mitigate the impact of the Cape Town fire on wildlife around Table Mountain. 

Gift of the Givers provide support to UCT students  

Gift of the Givers said in a statement on Sunday evening that they will provide some 4 000 meals to students who have been evacuated from UCT residences as the blaze rips through several iconic buildings, including the university’s library.

“UCT has requested Gift of the Givers to manage the feeding and other essentials for the next week whilst accommodation through various hotel groups is urgently sourced. Gift of the Givers will provide three meals a day,” they said.

“Many corporates – including Pick ‘n Pay, Woolworths and Engen -have called to offer assistance. Old Mutual has made their functions venue available to Gift of the Givers to receive all donations in kind. 

They said that this venue will be operational from 8:00 on Monday morning.

SPCA request support for animals affected by Cape Town fire 

With the blaze tearing through large parts of the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA have been mobilised to assist with efforts to protect the plentiful animal species that inhabit the area, adding that inspectors and teams tasked with doing so have been hindered by the dangerous, escalating conditions. 

“We are monitoring the periphery for any animal fleeing the flame and we are deeply concerned for those who may be trapped in the inferno,” they said. 

“As soon as we are able to, we will be combing the fire ravaged areas for any injured animals which will be brought back to our short term wildlife care facility for treatment.

They requested that the public continue to assist both the affected animals and firefighting teams by donating essential items, including the following:

  • Dressings; 
  • Bandages;
  • Silbecor ointment;
  • Coolpacks;
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables;
  • Energy drinks;
  • Energy bars; and, 
  • Eye drops

They also asked that residents close to the site of the fire place shallow plastic containers with water in their gardens for the animals who will be thirsty.

“If you come across an injured animal and it is safe to do so, please place the animal in a covered cardboard box to minimise stress.”

Donations requested  

Jason Hartman, a member of Firewatch, posted on Facebook on Sunday evening saying that students evacuated from campus residences should also be wary of those who may try to capitalise on the tragedy.

“Unfortunately in times of crises you have people who seek to take advantage. Please do not share your personal information with unknown sources,” he wrote. 

Those wanting to assist the students are requested to either donate to UCT with the reference “UCT Fire”, or to Gift of the Givers and the Raymond Ackerman Foundation. 

“We have evacuated all our students from campus and impacted areas. We have moved them to our Breakwater campus/hotel as well as Mowbray hotel. We are also receiving assistance from other hotel groups, universities, Raymond Ackerman Foundation and Gift of the Givers,” UCT said. 

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Presh JM Reporter

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