Fighting the good (Fire) Fight – Fire Stopping Paint for Madiba Square, Imizamo Yethu

Fire is a serious hazard in shack settlements in South Africa. It has been argued that on average in South Africa over the last five years there are ten shack fires a day with someone dying in a shack fire every other day. Last March 2017 shack fires displaced over 4 000 people and destroyed hundreds of people’s homes resulting in the loss of the lives of nine people in the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in Hout Bay, Cape Town.

Despite the wish for government to provide formal housing, the fact is that the number of people living in shacks is growing. The idea that shacks will be eradicated leads to a failure to provide basic services to shack settlements. But the reality is that many shack settlements are up to 30 years old and could easily continue to exist for many more years to come.

As part of an initiative driven by the NGOs lalela.org and Thula Thula, FSD Fire&Security Distributors provided Envirograf intumescent paint for steel and sponsored the professional application thereof, with the purpose of stopping shack fires from spreading and causing damage to the livelihoods of people. 

Intumescent Paint is a passive fire protection product and offers up to 90 minutes of fire protection, meaning a fire is contained and cannot spread, which allows for enough time to eradicate the fire.

This initiative is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility and is aimed at providing help with sustainable outcome and avoiding future fires from spreading and causing damage to the livelihoods of people.

The beneficiaries were 50 families living in shacks – 50 shacks were painted – in Madiba Square in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay. We hope this initiative grows to cover wider areas.

This initiative was driven by LALELA in collaboration with Thula Thula and brought to life with support and sponsorship from FSD Fire&Security Distributors, V&A Waterfront and the Bay Harbour Market.

We thank lalela.org and Thula Thula for making us part of their important cause.

For reference to see how Intumescent Paint works, please see this video here which demonstrates intumescent paint in action.

See here some impressions from our team in action.