ON Saturday October 12, about 20 shacks burnt to the ground in Malabar Extension Six. The rapid spreading of the fire was compounded by the strong winds throughout most of the day and approximately 70 people were left destitute.
In a situation such as this, it is the responsibility of the municipality’s disaster management subdirectorate to provide immediate assistance. On Saturday, the municipality provided mattresses and blankets to the victims of the tragedy and the Malabar Community Hall was commandeered to provide emergency shelter to the victims.
While the mattresses and blankets were clearly welcome, as part of disaster management’s responsibilities at a time such as this, it is of great concern that no food was provided by the sub-directorate. The residents had lost all they possessed, and would clearly be desperate for sustenance to see them through the night and the following days.
We were informed that disaster management “had no food supplies and could not assist”. Faced with this serious situation, I, fellow councillor Shirley Sauls and several other concerned citizens made arrangements to provide food for all. Subsequent to Saturday, ordinary citizens and ratepayers have donated generously and we thank them.
We seem to have lost our moral compass in the Nelson Mandela Metro. This is the municipality which recently pushed through a majority vote in council that snacks and refreshments once again be provided to councillors at council meetings.
The public will recall thatthe DA both opposed the proposal and has declined to partake.
On Saturday, disaster management did not have “any food” to offer our citizens in their hour of need, but without fail councillors have their catering needs seen to at council meetings.
Werner Senekal, DA PR councillor, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality