So many South Africans have been directly and indirectly affected by the devastating fires that tore through the Knysna-Plett and surrounding areas last month. IMATU was deeply saddened to learn of the deaths and serious injuries sustained by firefighters, volunteers and members of the community.
As a union representing municipal employees, including firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, we knew we needed to step in and get involved in the relief efforts. IMATU is directly linked to numerous members and their families that have been affected by this natural disaster, both in their capacities as either EMS/DMS workers, municipal employees or as residents of the affected communities.
Our Cape Town and Western Cape Regional Offices jumped into action and immediately assessed the needs of members on the ground. Their generous donations were followed by further contributions by our remaining Regional Offices, bringing IMATU’s overall donation to R32 000. Part of this money was used to assist members whose houses and belongings were badly damaged or destroyed in the fires. The remaining amount was then donated to the Knysna Municipality’s Disaster Relief Fund.
While the fires have been extinguished, the hard work of rebuilding homes, municipal buildings and other important infrastructure is only just beginning. To assist or donate towards the Knysna relief efforts, please consult the Municipality’s website http://www.knysna.gov.za/news/official-banking-details-for-the-knysna-disaster-relief/ or follow updates on their social networking pages https://www.facebook.com/knysnamunicipality/.