First Kranshoek home rebuilt after fires
After losing not only the roof over their heads but also all they owned when the June fires ripped through Plettenberg Bay last year, the Snyman family of Kranshoek finally have a place they can call home, thanks to a group of local good Samaritans.
The Snyman’s home was one of several homes in Kranshoek that went up in flames when the tragedy hit on 7 June 2017. A group of residents involved in relief efforts were so touched by the difficulties the residents of this very poor community on the outskirts of Plett had to endure during this time that they felt the need to intervene.
Most of the residents in the area affected by the fires lost everything they owned and were forced to seek shelter with friends or family. Some even had to live in the backyards of acquaintances as they did not have the financial means to rebuild their homes. Among the residents who felt compelled to help the Kranshoek community were Marius Venter, Sally Turner and Neville Peterson who, soon after the fires, started the Plett Fire Fund NPO.
“The aim was to restore the dignity of these residents,” says Venter. By last month they had managed to raise more than R800 000, of which the biggest portion, about R500 000, came from the Lubner Fund and about R300 000 from the mayoral disaster fund.
After having all the plans approved, the team embarked on the first home rebuild. Each home they plan on building will be about 50sq m and include all the amenities needed to live comfortably. Venter says they are using a product called Stumblebloc to construct the homes. He explains that the bricks fit together like Lego and are very easy to work with. It does not require specialised skills to use and therefore the community and the families are part of the building process.
3 months in the making
Arthur Kayster from Arthur’s Wonders was involved in the building process of the Snyman home. Each is estimated to cost about R150 000 to complete. Venter says it took them about three months to complete the home. “There were quite a few challenges, from sewerage to electricity and water, but everything turned out well in the end,” he says.
When Winston Snyman, who will be moving into his new home with his wife and three children, walked into the home for the first time, he was overwhelmed with emotion.
He says the initiative has restored his faith in humanity and that he now knows there are people out there who follow through on promises made.
“I just want to thank every single person who dug into their own pockets to help make this a reality. My family and I appreciate it so very much,” Snyman said.
Venter says they are far from done and will start building the next two homes shortly.
Kranshoek fire victim Winston Snyman and Plett Fire Fund member Marius Venter inspect Snyman’s new home.