President Zuma to visit Knysna

Image by Beeld/Theana Calitz

President Zuma to visit Knysna after devastating fires

President Jacob Zuma will visit the fire-ravaged garden route towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay on Thursday, his office said.

President Zuma to visit Knysna

Image by Beeld/Theana Calitz

He will be accompanied by a number of Cabinet and deputy ministers whose departments are part of the massive disaster relief efforts currently underway.

Last Wednesday, as a fierce storm took hold in the Cape Town area, large parts of Knysna, Brenton-on-Sea, Buffalo Bay and surrounds, and parts of Plettenberg Bay, went up in flames.

Nearly 10 000 people were evacuated and seven people died in at least 22 fires. Over 1 000 firefighters eventually brought them under control.

KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 07: Raging fires at the Longmore Forest on June 07, 2017 in Knysna, South Africa. More than 10 000 people were forced to flee their homes overnight as fires fuelled by storm winds ripped through the Western Cape coastal town. (Photo by Gallo Images / Die Burger / Werner Hills)

Repairs to destroyed communications and power infrastructure are still underway. Companies and individuals have answered a massive call for humanitarian relief.

Zuma’s visit follows a special sitting of the Western Cape cabinet in Knysna on Wednesday for a first-hand assessment.

Premier Helen Zille announced that R75m will be allocated from the provincial revenue fund to help the region recover from the devastation, and to mitigate the effect of the drought.

The province has approached the National Disaster Management centre and National Treasury to access further funding, the Western Cape legislature said in an earlier statement.