The Minister of Social Development in the Western Cape, Albert Fritz, conveys his deepest condolences to the family of the eight Karatara residents who lost their lives in a fire yesterday. The victims of the fire include two women, an unborn child, and six (6) children under the age of 12. Minister Fritz commits his department to support the family and the broader community in this time of grief and need.
The Provincial Department of Social Development has mobilized its regional office in George to assist the family with the following:
- Psycho-social support and welfare services;
- Support for the bereaved family from with emergency alternative accommodation and clothing; and
- Social workers who provide assessments and trauma counselling to the bereaved family and community members.
There are currently 262 individuals being accommodated at the George Civic Centre where DSD and the local municipality are assisting with feeding, support and registration, including 11 elderly people.
MEC Fritz calls on the broader George and Garden Route community to support the victims in this time of need.
MEC Fritz said, “I call on all residents to support the victims and firefighters where possible. To ensure that our firefighters remain strong enough to fight this blaze, they require donations of small bottles of water, juice, energy drinks, lip balm, wet wipes, rehydration packets, energy bars and chocolates”
Donations towards the firefighting efforts can be delivered to the George Fire Brigade at Mitchell Street, behind Outeniqua Primary sport fields.
MEC Fritz further said, “Residents living within the affected areas should keep their windows and doors closed until further notice as protection against smoke and heat; keep pets indoors where possible; move garden furniture that is flammable under cover; wet thatched roofs and ensure gutters are clean.”
The Department of Social Development in the Western Cape will continue to provide services and support during this time to all those affected by the fire, ensuring they get back on their feet as quickly as possible.