New Beginnings

Fire retardant paint saved 550 shacks during fire

Last July Justin Zietsman and Ashley Stemmet, the founders of a project called Khusela Ikhaya, which was focused on the development of a fire retardant paint which they believe passionately can help to reduce the number of deaths linked to shack fires.

They are back today to talk about how their New Beginning has developed in the past 12 months.

The duo give an update on the campaign, and tell us how you can help around Mandela Day

Over the past year, Khusela Ikhaya has had the fire retardant paint tested and SABS aproved. The project met with The City of Cape Town's JP Smith who tested the product and also approved its use.

The project then got underway and to date has painted over 1000 homes.

One shining example is after they painted 550 houses in Phumlani Village, Lotus River.

In May a fire broke out.

It was a Friday evening and there were gale force winds, and there was a fire. Ten homes were burnt but not destroyed. But had we not had that paint the, the possibility then exists that almost 550 homes could have been destroyed.

Justin Zietsman, Khusela Ikhaya

The paint slows down the burning although it does not stop it entirely.

It gives people a fighting chance.

Justin Zietsman, Khusela Ikhaya

The project has now expanded to include other pillars as well. These are an education programme which includes a feeding scheme, upliftment projects, sports development and responsible toursim.

Listen to the entire conversation below:

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