Miss SA returns home to Garden Route to help fire victims

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Miss SA returns home to Garden Route to help fire victims

Petru Saal | 2017-06-13 13:32:50.0

Miss South Africa‚ Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has raised over R600‚000 in aid for the victims. File photo

Image by: Jacques_Du_Preez

Miss South Africa‚ Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters‚ is visiting the Garden Route where devastating fires led to the biggest disaster rescue operation in the country’s history.

According to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille more than 10‚000 residents were evacuated from Knysna and surrounding areas such as Sedgefield where Nel-Peters was born and raised.

“I want to personally visit communities in both Knysna and Sedgefield and help where I can. My heart goes out to all those who have been affected. I applaud the thousands of South Africans who have helped. It is a time where communities have to come together and help each other” said Nel-Peters.

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Picture: Anthony Molyneaux

Nel-Peters has raised over R600‚000 in aid for the victims. The money will be used to purchase basic supplies that many have been left without since fleeing their homes. Nel-Peters will be distributing water‚ tinned food‚ baby food‚ bread‚ blankets‚ toiletries and pet food in various locations.

Zille on Monday expressed her gratitude to those who had come to help residents. In a statement‚ her office said that this has been the ”biggest disaster rescue operation” in South African history.

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Picture: Anthony Molyneaux

Fires spanned at least 100 km and 1‚160 fire fighters were deployed. Seven people lost their lives in the infernos.

“What we saw in the last week was an unprecedented natural disaster that required an unprecedented response. Our efforts began with the proactive one day closure of all schools in the province on Wednesday‚ June 7‚ ahead of the Cape storm. This freed up the roads to a large extent so that emergency services could operate without unnecessary hindrance‚” said Zille.

“Mop up operations are still continuing in the southern Cape following the infernos that raged there for most of last week. I wish to commend every single organisation – public or private – NGO‚ family and individuals who stepped up to the challenge and came to the assistance of thousands in desperate situations.”

Many people have raised funds to help those in need. Last week R13-million was raised by KFM radio station according to a statement. FNB pledged R10-million on the breakfast show and Discovery donated R750‚000.



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