On the first weekend in May, a fire raged through one of the South African townships in the Western Cape. Known as Masiphumelele, this township is situated between Noordhoek and Kommetje, along a stretch of road that is well-known to our tourists.
Masiphumelele Township is a largely Xhosa-speaking settlement where approximately 20,000 people live.
Many of the residents here come from rural areas, are unemployed, and live in mostly informal housing (2500 stands/shacks).
The early May fires that gutted the northern area of Masiphumelele started in the brush to the north of the dense population of wooden shacks and moved quickly, engulfing over to 200 homes, including several government-built brick houses, leaving up to 1000 people homeless. Many of the people in Masiphumelele have been left with nothing, and with winter approaching, there has been an urgent call for donations of basic amenities: blankets, clothing, food, etc.
The Jenman office team immediately took up a collection of donated goods. We decided that if each of us could donate at least one thing – we could make a difference to the people of Masiphumelele. By the end of the week, we were able to deliver a full truck-load of items that had been donated by Jenman staff, family and friends.