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What you can do to help in Cape Town

OK, I’ve just come back from the Red Cross in Wynberg where I got to talking to some of the folks there about what they need. Their most urgent requirement at this stage is blankets and baby food, in all formats – formula, cereals and the bottled variety (Purity).

If you want to help, they are located at 21 Broad Street in Wynberg. It’s off Rosmead Avenue, turning right just past the Wynberg Sports Club if you are coming from the Kenilworth Centre side. Their phone number is (021) 797-5360.

The Red Cross is one of the disaster relief operations that have been certified by the City of Cape Town and the Provincial Government so you can rest assured that your donations will reach their intended destinations.

You can also contact The Salvation Army (Western Cape Division) on (021) 761-8530 and they are at 85 Maynard Road in Wynberg.

Many displaced foreigners are currently being housed at Young Filed Military Base in Wynberg (at the end of Chucker Road), and if you want to donate directly to the Base or require more information, please call them on (021) 597-5199.

Other drop off points:

ALP Office
122 Longmarket St
Westminister House
Contact: Hennie 082 902 1303


206 Selbourne
Prince St
Contact: Alistair 074 103 4664

If you want to make a financial donation, the details are:

City of Cape Town
Absa Bank
Branch code 631609
Account no 4056584569
Public Sector Western Cape
Reference No 190100012

Xenophobia: what are YOU doing?

That’s the question that’s been on my mind for a while now. I’ve absorbed all the media reports and the opinions of various armchair analysts from around the world for the last few days and while I appreciate all the information they are sending my way, it’s not enough for me.

Here I sit, in my safe, warm little house in the suburbs, feeling distressed, anxious and upset for the thousands and thousands of people in our country, even in my city, who have had to run for their lives. These people have had to leave everything behind and look for shelter, both from the elements and from very real life-threatening danger. They have nothing. They are afraid for their lives, their families have been ripped apart and they need help to survive.

I can’t sit here any longer and not do anything. I’m not going to allow myself to think that this is somebody else’s problem, that this does not affect me. It’s happening within a few kilometers of my home, it’s getting worse and worse by the day and more and more people are in peril. And who knows where this is going?

I’m not just going to look at it from (what I think is) a safe distance and wait for it to play out. No I’m not going to sit on my butt and do nothing but talk about it anymore. I am in a position to help. I need to step up and offer my assistance to these people in some way.

And you? What about you? You, sitting there in front of your screen, you who woke up this morning in a warm bed, had a hot bath/shower, brushed your teeth, wrapped yourself in warm clothes and filled your tummy with eggs and bacon (or croissants, or muesli, or whatever) this morning … what are you going to do? Anything?

Enough chit chat. I’m off to take some action. Later …