Victims of the Imizamo Yethu fire in March received a big donation of electrical appliances from Cape Town’s Chinese community last week.
Working through the provincial board of community police forums, the recently-established Chinese Community Police Forum rallied to collect 200 two-plate stoves, 200 irons, 200 kettles and 200 three-piece pot sets, valued at R150 000.
At the handover ceremony at the Hout Bay police station on Thursday, attended by dignitaries and high-ranking police officials, provincial community forum board integrity commissioner Abdul Tajoodien said the Chinese community wanted to help victims of the fire.
“Because of the language barrier, we have been assisting the Chinese CPF to obtain representation for Chinese people in our communities. We are overwhelmed by this donation to the people of Imizamo Yethu. We will be distributing these goods through Thula Thula Hout Bay, because of their excellent track record in providing relief to fire victims,” he said.
Chinese consul general Kang Yong said that when Cape Town’s Chinese community heard about the fire, which displaced more than 10 000 people, they had been “very sad and anxious”.
“The Chinese community is with their South African brothers and sisters. As they have shown whenever there is a need they will answer the call to help. The occasion (of the fire) allowed the Chinese community to express their gratitude to South Africans for welcoming them in the Rainbow Nation.”
Zhu Jin Chen, director of the Cape Town Chinese CPF, said it was his pleasure to hand over the appliances to his South African brothers and sisters.
“Under the leadership of the Western Cape CPF, we are able to assist the Chinese community to integrate into the local community. Once we heard about the fires, we immediately sent out a message to our community to donate these goods.
“We settled on these goods because our research showed that we needed to work towards preventing open fires from happening again,” he said.
Hout Bay CPF chairperson Toby Adams thanked the Chinese for their generosity.
“Your gifts will be given to those most in need, and they will encourage residents not to use open fires in their homes. We appreciate everyone’s help so far. Hopefully our partnership will continue for a long time,” Mr Adams said.
SAPS Brigadier Aaron Malenga, representing Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula, said it was difficult to police a community in need.
“The Imizamo Yethu community has been deeply affected two or three times this year already, but we must remember that when people cry, we must cry with them. As such, it is a great pleasure to witness the occasion of this donation, which shows people care about this community,” he said.