Phalaborwa, a town known for its scenic beauty and vibrant community, faced a devastating veld fire that wreaked havoc over the weekend. The fire, which began as a seemingly manageable veld fire, quickly escalated, fueled by high temperatures and strong winds.
The blaze resulted in the destruction of 12 residential homes, a lodge, and a vast expanse of land in the northern part of Phalaborwa. The fire’s intensity was such that it even reached the outskirts of the town, causing significant damage. Social activist Yusuf Abramjee highlighted the severity of the situation by sharing images of houses reduced to ashes.
The Limpopo Cooperative Governance MEC, Basikopo Makamu, has urged the community to exercise caution, especially during these dry conditions. He emphasized the importance of not starting fires in open areas and advised motorists against discarding cigarette butts on roads, which can easily ignite fires.
The Ba-Phalaborwa Local Municipality, in response to the disaster, declared a local state of emergency. The affected residents, now displaced, have found temporary shelter in the nearby Cajori Hotel and other surrounding lodges. These establishments, along with the local community, have come forward to provide food packages and other essentials to the victims.
Dr. Nkhensani Mabunda, one of the affected homeowners, expressed her sorrow over the loss of her property. She recounted the overwhelming support she received from the local municipality, neighbors, and even the executive mayor, Pule Shayi, and mayor Miriam Malatji.
The community’s resilience is evident as they rally together to support those affected. Various relief efforts are underway, with many volunteers coordinating efforts to provide clothing, food, and other essentials to the victims.