GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Three years after the Knysna wildfire disaster that left the town devastated, Knysna Deputy Mayor Aubrey Tsengwa issued a statement reflecting on the blaze that started on 7 June 2017, calling it "the most devastating of its kind in the history of Southern Africa according to the Garden Route Environmental Forum".
"The area just started to recover when the Covid-19 pandemic arrived. The subsequent lockdown came into effect with, once again, a devastating effect on our economy and our people. It reminded me of what Nelson Mandela once said: 'Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again'," Tsengwa said.
He added that businesses and individuals in the greater Knysna area have experienced extreme hardship, heartbreak and had to pick themselves up, some literally from the ashes.
"As Covid-19 infections in the area rose, our adversity may not yet be over. Both these events taught us to appreciate what we have: the people around us - friends, family and even strangers that helped and supported where needed. We have not stopped giving, in fact, just the opposite. The generosity has been astounding, then and now.
"As a community we have become stronger, and despite the adversities, we can face it by being kind, resilient and resourceful," said Tsengwa.
"We remember the lives lost three years ago. Let us honour them by being thankful and standing together as a community. By being kind and by supporting each other, by being inspirational, innovative and inclusive. Stay safe."
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