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27 July 2011

Kwazulu Natal town helps needy on snowy day

Image: Snowy scene from Nottingham Road, KZN yesterday

Residents of snow-bound Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal set up a soup kitchen in a park yesterday to help the homeless and travellers stranded because of road closures.

"The traffic department called me this morning and asked if we could help out in some way because there were so many cold and hungry people stranded in Newcastle," local businessman Johan Pieters said. "We decided to set up a soup kitchen in the Trimpark."

A message was posted on social networking site Facebook asking residents to help out. "We have soup, coffee and bread. Everyone has pulled together to help," Pieters said. "Its nice that the community got together. A lot of people called me after they saw the message on Facebook to help and to donate food and blankets." Volunteers were boiling water and warming up homemade soup on gas cookers.

Twenty trucks were parked at the Trimpark, while a bus travelling from Durban to Bloemfontein had been stranded in the town since Monday evening. A number of homeless people had also made their way to the soup kitchen and were given food, blankets, jerseys and beanies.

Pieters said the soup kitchen would be kept going throughout the night with help from a local church group.

Newcastle residents woke up on Tuesday morning to a winter wonderland, with many calling it "Christmas in July". It had last snowed in Newcastle in September 2001, 10 years ago.

SA - the Good News via SAPA