Western Cape premier Helen Zille during her visit to White Location on June 15.
KNYSNA NEWS & VIDEO - President Jacob Zuma and Western Cape premier Hellen Zille visited Knysna and Plettenberg Bay fire disaster areas on Thursday, June 15.
Zuma, accompanied by a heavily armed security contingent, was received relatively well at his first stop – the Knysna municipal offices – by a crowd of approximately 50 supporters.
He was accompanied by a number of cabinet and deputy ministers whose departments have already begun with relief and assistance services to the affected communities.
While Zuma gave a brief closed-door address, the media were advised to meet him at his first on-the-ground site visit location, Knysna Heights. In the area were a few partly burnt-down houses and some completely consumed in the previous week's wave of fires.
The Zuma-Zille duo then visited White Location and other affected areas. In White Location the two saw how shack upon shack were burnt down, with only corrugated iron sheets left.
One White Location family, six members of the Mwaloe family, fought tooth and nail with buckets of water to save their home, which was the only one spared of their immediate neighbours.
After the June 7 fires, Zuma dispatched humanitarian and other support to all affected, especially low-income communities.
This was coordinated through the National Joint Operational Centre disaster management, which worked hand-in-hand with the Western Cape government and provincial disaster management teams.