Xenophobic attacks – how can I help victims?

The focus of this post is very much about what ordinary South Africans and civil society organisations are doing to assist refugees in the wake of the xenophobic attacks – and how and where you can help – but I would like to start by saying that, like most South Africans, I have been horrified and ashamed of the brutal attacks on foreigners across the country.

The attacks are by a small minority of malcontents; the majority of South Africans – including many who are extremely frustrated and disillusioned with the government’s poor service delivery and the lack of job opportunities – abhor the violence.

And while the government is certainly guilty of providing fertile ground for the discontent and resentments that are at the root of the violence, and have been very slow to react appropriately, the perpetrators of the attacks still had a choice. They must be held accountable for the choice they made.

At the same time, I have been heartened by the outpouring of support, both moral and material, by many South Africans. The DA, too, has commended the numerous heroes who have come to the aid of the victims of these attacks. Millions of Rands have been donated, and many are contributing in whatever way they can. Independent Newspapers has opened an account specifically for people to make donations, while the SA Red Cross Society has launched an emergency appeal to raise R1 million to assist the victims of xenophobic attacks.

The Cape Times has also been running a column alongside their other coverage of the attacks with the details of a number of organisations that are assisting. Having failed to find anything similar online, I thought I would re-publish it here (Update: I’ve added a few Gauteng-based links at the end):

  • To donate to the City of Cape Town‘s disaster relief fund: Absa, current account number 405 6584 569, branch code 631 609, reference number 190100012
  • To contribute to the disaster relief, contact HDI Support at 021 511 4153, Ebrahim Smith at the Mustadafin Foundation on 083 953 3231, the Salvation Army at 021 761 8530, the South African Red Cross Society at 021 797 5360, and the South African National Zakah Fund (Sanzaf) at 021 638 5108.
  • SA Jewish Board of Deputies is co-ordinating funds, food, clothing, blankets, toiletries, paramedical services and shelters. Tel 021 464 6700. The Union of Jewish Women: items can be dropped at 7 Albany Road, Sea Point. Tel. 021 434 9555 between 08h30 and 14h00.
  • The drop-off points for money, clothes, toiletries and food at the Aids Law Project office at 50 Canterbury Street, or 206 Selbourne, Prince Street in Gardens. Cash donations to Nedbank account number 128 405 1870, branch code 195 005 and the reference “Cape Town Refugee Crisis”.
  • The Methodist Church in Bunney Street, Kensington, is housing displaced people who need blankets and clothing. Contact Hennie on 082 902 1303 or Alistair on 074 103 4664.
  • The Consultation of Christian Churches (CCC) in the Western Cape has asked for blankets, non-perishable foods, baby food, disposable nappies, toiletries and mattresses, which can be dropped off at the warehouse in Plantation Road, Wetton, run by St John’s Church (021 761 1168), the His People Centre at N1 City, Goodwood (021 595 8924), Shade at the Methodist Church, 111 Chamberlain Street, Woodstock (021 448 0779), the Bellville Baptist Church in 5th Avenue, Boston (083 308 5995), Khayelitsha Voice in Ntlazane Road, Elitha Park (083 533 3777), the Zolani Centre in Gugulethu, next to the Nyanga Taxi Rank and police station (083 563 9565), and the gate of Soetwater campsite, near Kommetjie (021 783 1747).
  • Catholic Welfare and Development is collecting food and toiletries at 37A Somerset Road, Green Point, or St Columbas, Lawrence Road, in Athlone. Contact Margie Benjamin at 021 425 2095. They are also seeking volunteers.
  • St Michaels Catholic Church, 23 Rouwkoop Road, Rondebosch, has a container drop-off point for goods and food. Tel. 021 686 8708.
  • The Christ the King Community Church is looking for food, blankets, towels, mattresses, shoes, toiletries, baby food and nappies, and sports goods and toys. Drop goods at 15 Vuurpyl Crescent, Thornton, or phone 076 658 0750 and they will collect.
  • There are collection points at all branches of Pick ‘n Pay, which is collecting clothing, blankets and food. They have divided the region among three NGOs for collection purposes – HDI Support, The Mustafadin Foundation and Feedback. These three NGOs fall under Disaster Management.
  • To donate to refugees being housed at the Youngsfield military base at the end of Chucker Road in Wynberg, phone 021 597 5199.
  • Blankets, clothes, non-perishable food, nappies and toiletries are being collected until Friday (30 May) from 06h30 to 08h00 at traffic intersections by the Cape Town Partnership and Central City Improvement District. Motorists are asked to bring a plastic bag of donations with them on the way to work. The intersections are: at the CTICC on the corner of Coen Steytler and Buitengracht, near the 7-11 on the corner of Long and Buitensingel Streets, next to Motor City on the corner of Oswald Pirow and Hertzog Boulevard, and at the Castle intersection of Strand and Buitenkant Streets. There are also collection points at the Terraces building, 34 Bree Street, Eurocape on the corner of Wale Street and St George’s Mall, and the back entrance of the CTICC.

This list is obviously focussed on Cape Town (although some organisations will have branches in other localities), but that is where I am based (as I noted above, I have added some links with Gauteng contacts at the end of the post). If you live in another area and have access to similar lists, or even individual organisations, please share them by adding a comment or building on my list with your own post.

There are bound to be people googling the Xenophobic Attacks. I’d like them to find information about (a) the positive work being done by many South Africans and (b) how they can make a contribution.

I googled “Xenophobic attacks how can I help” and got only a link to News24, where I couldn’t find any details about where I can actually make donations or volunteer. Let’s build up an online database to help people who want to help.

Update: The Times has quite a long list online, including a number of Gauteng contacts.

MyNorthcliff.co.za also has a good list for Gauteng.

Another blog – Moral Fibre – appears to be helping collect money and goods for victims of xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg.


1 Response to “Xenophobic attacks – how can I help victims?”

  1. 1 Lizelle 30 May 2008 at 10:05 am

    Thank you for the information published. I have also been searching the net for a drop-off point for donations & now know where to go.

    I pray that the generosity of our people will continue & extend to the rest of the poor of our country, so that we as a people can help lift our continent to it’s rightful place in the sun.

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