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Scarra Ntubeni is fighting fire with kindness

At least 75 families living in backyard dwellings in Bonteheuwel will be able to sleep more peacefully this winter. This is owing to the fact that these homes have been earmarked to be painted with fire-retardant paint, in a bid to stop fires from spreading. Annually there are more than 2 000 fires in informal settlements in the country. The NPO, Khusela Ikhaya, started the painting of the homes on the 4th of May and will end the project on 21 December.

A famous and well-loved Capetonian has added his support.

“The Khusela ikhaya Project is an initiative that invites you to stand together, be the change, live each day as Madiba would. We call on all South Africans to unite behind a cause that will make a difference to the lives of those living in our marginalized communities.” – Scarra Ntubeni, Springbok Rugby Player and Khusela Ikhaya Project’s brand ambassador.

This year they are extending their focus beyond one specific day and standing firmly behind the belief that every day should be lived by Madiba’s principles.

Their next event is on Saturday 16th July (Mandela Day) where they’ll focus combined efforts on painting 100 homes in Khayelitsha (site C).

“Every year on the 18th July we celebrate the life of Madiba.

Every day we should strive to uphold his ideals. We will continue our personal pledge to uphold his spirit and that of Ubuntu. We do this, every day, as we believe every day is Mandela Day.” – Justin Zietsman, Executive Director of the Khusela Ikhaya Project.

The Khusela Ikhaya Project’s aim is to prevent rapid spreading shack fires through the application of a specifically formulated intumescent (fire retardant) paint.

It takes less than two minutes for a single shack to be completely engulfed by flames – and this, from a simple fallen candle or paraffin lamp. Year on year raging shack fires consume countless homes and destroy lives. The last five years have seen an average of 10 shack fires a day rage throughout South Africa, with someone dying in a shack fire every other day.

Since launching in July last year they have not only painted in excess of 1000 structures across the Western Cape but also added education platforms, a feeding platform and sports development to their focus.

Visit to find out how you can support this wonderful initiative.


Eloise Pretorius – Weekdays 9am – 12pm Anchor, Smile 90.4FM