The last few days South Africa has been battling with an extensive of loss of human life, homes, structures, power and communication lines caused by the blazing Knsysna fires. The fire was propelled by strong winds of what seems to be Cape Town’s worst storm in 30 years. The Relief Management Team with the help of military have evacuated 10,000 people and have been working in full force to contain the fires since then.
Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) has set up an operations centre at Pelican Lodge through its partner, Safari and Tourism Insurance Brokers (SATIB). The emergency number for the centre is +27 1000 70230 for medical emergencies, reporting missing people, lost passports, repatriations requests and trauma counselling services.
This is what the chief executive officer of South African Tourism, Mr Sisa Ntshona, had to say, “Our thoughts are with all the affected people at this time. The safety of all tourists is of paramount importance to us and we are working very closely with SATSA who have people on the ground in the affected areas assisting travelers. We thank the four Chairmen of JAMMS (Joint Association Members Meeting Sessions made up of Cape Town Tourism, SAACI, FEDHASA and SATSA) who have agreed to assist international tourists in need.”
Meanwhile, a disaster emergency fund has been set up by officials for residents in the wake of the fire and slowly things are getting back to normal. Majority of fires have now been contained and roads that were closed have been re-opened. Various tourists spots and activities are returning to normal in the Knysna and Plettenberg Bay areas. The John Benn cruise and other boat cruises are now operating as normal again.