The local apps/tech platforms helping fight the Cape Town fires

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Natural disasters tend to bring communities together, put worldly things back of mind and increase support across a variety of platforms. Over the past weekend, a wildfire surged across Table Mountain and into the Southern suburbs of the city. Certain local mobile apps and tech platforms have weighed in to give South Africans across the country the ability to aid firefighters and displaced residents. 

The raging wildfires have destroyed part of the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden, including the University of Cape Town’s Jagger University. With the introduction of strong winds today, firefighters are facing increased risk while more people in certain suburbs have been displaced, including University students. They could do with a hand. 

Local apps stepping up

A handful of local tech companies have support systems in place that South Africans across the country (and world) can make use of to help displaced people and support people on the front line. 

Checkers have announced that it will waive the delivery fee of goods going to any of the drop-off points for firefighters and front-line workers. Anyone can simply place an order through the Sixty60 app, set the destination for one of the dedicated collection points (Roeland fire station is one of the main points), and Checkers will scrap that delivery fee. 

Then, SnapScan has revealed a payment gateway that will direct funds to Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS), an organisation that functions purely to help people affected by fire-based disasters. “Want to support those fighting the #CapeTownFires? Donate to @vwsfires using this link: https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/SSWH0480,” it tweeted. 

A Capetonian has even compiled a Google Places list of all the businesses in the city that will offer housing or food for UCT students that have been displaced. The list can be viewed here, and includes more drop-off points for items that will help frontline workers, as well as counselling services and religious gathering spots. 

If you’re interested in offering monetary aid right now, there are a few orgs that have already set up payment links. 

  • Volunteer Wildfire Services: https://vws.org.za/support-us/
  • Cape SPCA: https://capespca.co.za/donate/
  • Red Cross South Africa: http://redcross.org.za/donate/
  • Gift of the Givers: https://giftofthegivers.org/make-a-difference/

 

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