Children of Fire maintains regular links with Ukuvuka ("wake-up!" in
Xhosa) in Cape Town. Both organisations carry out some similar work in fire
prevention initiatives, but Ukuvuka has funding running into millions of rands
and Children of Fire works with mere thousands of rands instead.
Ukuvuka however only uses a small part of its funding for squatter camps
and a larger part for work on clearing alien vegetation and reducing the fire
risk to the more scenic countryside around Cape Town. It is not within its
brief to assist burned children in hospital. There is just one Ukuvuka employee
focusing on squatter camp work; Stephen Lamb.
At end October 2001, Ukuvuka was working in 7 areas within the boundary
of its campaign area - Masiphumelele near Kommetjie, Redhill, Imizamo Yethu
(Hout Bay), Hout Bay Fishing Village, Ocean View outside boundary - Joe Slovo
(Langa), and Siver City/Tafelsig near Mitchells Plain.
Sandra Fowkes, head of Ukuvuka, reports that the Joe Slovo (Cape Town)
integrated service delivery and fire mitigation plan for the massive squatter
camp has worked well and there has been a dramatic drop in the incidence of
fires and loss of dwellings there. Ukuvuka is duplicating the approach in two
other squatter camps and expects to start a fire prevention kit project in
Redhill settlement in November 2001.
Ukuvuka has funded one fire-fighting water tank for Children of Fire.
This will be installed shortly. Following intimidation of Children of Fire
volunteers in the Joe Slovo squatter camp, Johannesburg, some one dozen "Peace
Notices" (under Section 384 (1) of Act 56 of 1955) were served by court
officials on a variety of political figures, which it is hoped will help bring
stability to the situation. Elsewhere in Greater Johannesburg a large number of
shacks were razed in late October in xenophobic attacks on a long-established
Zimbabwean immigrant community and Children of Fire is determined not to let
the intimidation lead to similar incidents in the areas where it works.
Ukuvuka contact details:
Santam/Cape Argus Ukuvuka: Operation
Goldfields Education Centre
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Tel: +27 21 762-7474
Fax: +27 21 762-8337