Knysna gets emergency transfusion of R75m to kickstart fire recovery

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The Western Cape is pumping R75-million into emergency recovery efforts in Knysna.

Burnt-out cars on Paradise Road in Knysna. File photo.
Picture: The Times

The decision was made at a meeting of the provincial cabinet in the fire-ravaged town on Wednesday.

Michael Mpofu‚ spokesman for Premier Helen Zille‚ said urgent spending would include:

– R5-million to repair road damage and R800 000 for the transport costs of emergency evacuations;

– R1.2-million to repair health infrastructure;

– R7.5-million to help displaced people;

– R5-million for emergency humanitarian support;

– R15-million for disaster management co-ordination‚ drought assistance and infrastructure requirements at municipalities;

– R5.5-million to mitigate the impact of natural and biological disasters on the agricultural sector;

– R3-million for Cape Nature and Working on Fire;

– R2-million for security requirements at care facilities.

Said Zille: “Our government is committed to working with the local authorities to rebuild the lives of residents who have suffered great loss. This initial allocation of R75-million is a first step in this process. We will continually reassess the needs and priorities going forward.”

Finance MEC Ivan Meyer said: “Our government is also grateful for the immense contribution from the private sector. The four major banks have made pledges‚ and DHL has so far delivered an enormous 284 tons of aid to Knysna. Generous support has also been provided by Pick n Pay‚ Spur‚ Clicks‚ Vodacom‚ Cell C and other corporates”.

The provincial government has approached the national disaster management centre and treasury for further funding‚ and Mpofu said: “The cabinet believes the recent fires‚ among other disasters‚ were truly extraordinary circumstances which required an extraordinary response.”

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