Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

Emergency relief efforts for Rhodes Memorial, UCT fire under way - here's how to help

Emergency relief efforts are under way in Cape Town after a runaway fire, which is believed to have been started by a vacated vagrant fire, destroyed parts of the Rhodes Memorial restaurant and caused unknown damage to some of the buildings on the University of Cape Town's (UCT) Upper Campus. The fire started at around 8.45am on Sunday morning on Table Mountain.
Image source:

UCT has since set up an emergency relief fund for approximately 4,000 of its displaced students after having to evacuate some of its residences. Emergency accommodation is being arranged for the students and Gift of the Givers has been appointed to manage the feeding programme. The public may drop off any donated essential and food items at the Old Mutual West Campus, 91 Jan Smuts Road in Pinelands.

Items required include water, energy drinks, juices, cool drinks, biscuits, energy bars, muffins, tea, coffee, long life milk, sugar, rice, beans, oil, noodles, salt, spices, cereals, eggs, butter, jam, cheese and bread. Soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet rolls, sanitary pads and hand sanitiser are essential personal hygiene requests.

Cash contributions specifically for #UCTfire relief can be made to Gift of the Givers here.

UCT emergency relief fund

UCT has also set up an emergency relief fund, calling on all those who are able to donate to use the following details:

Account name: UCT Donations
Bank: Standard Bank of South Africa
Branch code: 025009
Account number: 071522387
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ

Donors should include their name if they wish to, as well as the purpose/reference for their donation (#UCTFire).

Part of the UCT library, residences and upper campus buildings were damaged by the fire, however the university is unable to confirm the extent of the damage yet. All academic activities for Monday and Tuesday have been suspended.

Assist fire crews with donations

Members of the public are also encouraged to drop off essential and food items at the various fire stations for the fire crews battling the ongoing blaze. For more information on how to donate to the Volunteer Wildfire Services, click here.

Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen steps up

The Shoprite Group is also supporting UCT students impacted by the fire by providing warm meals. Early this morning the Shoprite Mobile Soup Kitchen started serving students housed at the Mupine College in Pinelands, and it will continue to serve meals at additional locations providing temporary accommodation for UCT students for as long as necessary.

Customers wishing to donate non-perishable food items can do so at the collection trolleys that have been made available at the following Checkers and Checkers Hyper supermarkets in the Western Cape: Rondebosch, Kenilworth, Plumstead, Meadowridge, Tokai, Canal Walk and Brackenfell.

Checkers supports firefighters with water, energy drinks
Checkers supports firefighters with water, energy drinks

How to assist the Cape of Good Hope SPCA

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA has also mobilised its teams in the area in order to assist with animal rescue efforts. It says that as soon as it is safe to do so, it will be combing the fire-ravaged areas for any injured animals which will be taken to its short-term wildlife care facility for treatment.

It has requested donations of dressings, bandages, Silbecor ointment, cool packs, fresh fruit and vegetables for the animals and supplies, including energy drinks, energy bars and eyedrops for the team in the field.

"We also are calling on the public who reside in an area close to the site of the fire to please place shallow plastic containers filled with water in their gardens for the animals who will be in desperate need of a drink. If you come across an injured animal and it is safe to do so, please try to confine larger animals and place smaller animals in a covered cardboard box to minimise their stress and call the SPCA on 0833261604," it said.

Donation drop-off points include the following Absolute Pets stores:

  • Flamingo Square
  • Welgemoed
  • Cape Gate
  • Gardens
  • Cavendish
  • Constantia

For more information on how to donate, click here.

According to a recent update by the City of Cape Town, "Active firefighting is concentrated in the the following areas: Vredehoek, Philip Kgosana Drive and UCT... The fire is not under control yet – at this time, the wind is a major contributing factor. Aerial firefighting support remains grounded due to the strong winds."

SANParks has advised the public to stay away from the following areas: Newlands Forest, Groote Schuur Estate, Rhodes Memorial, Devil's Peak, Tafelberg Road, Vredehoek, and Deer Park. This after cyclists and dog walkers attempted to go about their usual day-to-day activities this morning within the Table Mountain National Park, according to SANParks spokesperson Rey Thakhuli.

About Sindy Peters

Sindy Peters (@sindy_hullaba_lou) is a group editor at on the Construction, CSI & Sustainability, and Property portals. She can be reached at moc.ytinummoczib@ydnis.

Let's do Biz