The explosion near the Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg on Christmas Eve, resulting in the death of 41 people, including 12 healthcare workers, has left many families without breadwinners as reported by Eyewitness News. While the local community was still reeling from the shock of the incident, promises made by the government to assist the victims’ families have yet to materialize.
Two months on, some relatives of the victims and residents are questioning the government’s readiness to handle large-scale disasters. Despite the tragic loss of their loved ones due to an unforeseen incident, the affected families have not received any assistance from the government thus far. This has left many feeling disregarded and abandoned.
According to Gillian Theys, who resides just a few meters from the explosion site, government officials visited the family shortly after the incident, but follow-up visits have yet to be made since then. Expressing her frustration, she conveyed, “The situation is infuriating. It seems like the government disappeared as soon as the dust settled, and we haven’t seen anyone since. While the NGOs have been a great support, I feel the government could have done more.”
Elza Eales, who lost four nieces and nephews in the blast, was Theys’s neighbour. She expressed that her family has not yet come to terms with the loss of their children. “The pain still lingers. Our hearts are still heavy,” she conveyed.
The families’ frustration is understandable, given the gravity of the incident, which has left many without a source of income. They had hoped that the government would provide them with some form of relief during this difficult time. The families’ complaints highlight the need for the government to be more proactive in its disaster management efforts, especially in assisting affected families in a timely manner.
As the victims’ families grieve, they need to know they are not forgotten. Instead, the government must act swiftly to provide them with the necessary support and assistance to help them rebuild their lives.