Knysna counts the fire cost
more than 440 properties had been gutted in the epicentre of the disaster. It is believed a further 200 informal structures had been destroyed and about 30 homes in Plettenberg Bay.
Kirsten said there was no timeline for the process to be completed.
Meanwhile, the municipality had started registering those affected. “This would be anyone who suffered any form of damage.”
Kirsten said residents were being asked to complete a survey and include their losses. The survey is available on the muncipality’s website and social media pages and has been available at the various relief drop-off points.
“Once the SANParks teams have completed their assessment, we will cross reference their data with ours and we will then not only have a clear picture of the scale of the damage, but also know exactly what the needs of each resident are.”
Manual said from a firefighting perspective, they too had started counting the costs of what has been dubbed “the biggest disaster rescue operation in South African history”.
“The costs are expected to be vast as it will include anything from accommodation for the firefighters who have come from across the country to assist to fuel costs of the vehicles and the aircraft, not to mention the manpower.”
He said the bill was expected to be millions of rands.
James-Brent Styan, spokesperson for MEC Anton Bredel, agreed the Knysna fire was the biggest the country had experienced.
He said about 10 000 people had been evacuated.
There had been severe damage to communication, electricity, water and sewage, roads and schools and the economic engine of the town.
Meanwhile, the average dam levels across the province are at 20%, which he said was still bad.
“The situation remains unchanged,” said Styan.
Knysna mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies said beside the loss of houses, there had been major damage to infrastructure and businesses.