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Cape Town startup throws its weight behind Cape fire rescue efforts [update]

As raging fires in the Cape’s Southern Peninsula continued today, rain finally brought relief to some of the firefighting efforts although it wasn’t enough to complete douse the flames.

As firefighters continue working tirelessly, various companies have started using the power of social media to bring support to these firefighting volunteers. Through its LeadSA initiative, Primedia started a #FireRadiothon hoping to get the public donating R 2-million by 7pm tonight:


Now big banks are attempting to match each others donations — and bragging about it on social media — in a rush to see who can contribute the most amount to Cape Town’s firefighting efforts. But with banks involved, and a telephone number you have to phone which entails a long-winded process of making a payment, the guys at SnapScan decided to put the company’s technology to some good use.


Noticing the plea for donations, Cape Town’s innovative payment startup decided to open their payment system for Volunteer Wildlife Services, one of the firefighters battling the flames.

Within the first hour of posting about it on Twitter and Facebook, SnapScan says it saw over 100 donations at a rate of four per minute at one stage and a total of R32 300 within the first four hours.

It is an easy way to make a contribution, and since firefighters have been “well taken care of” with massive food and refreshment donations from the public, they are in greater need of equipment, fuel, vehicles and uniforms. So whether you’re a fan of old technology and choose to pick up the phone, or prefer to SnapScan it, the choice is yours.

Update: SnapScan announced that it’s so far raised nearly R80 000 within the first 24 hours, with over 350 contributors.


Author | André-Pierre du Plessis

André-Pierre du Plessis
From a very young age, AP du Plessis has had an unhealthy obsession with Lego. Trumping Mattel to become the world's top toy maker, Lego has made it particularly difficult for him to quit bricks. AP worked at Bloomberg, Media24 and eNCA before joining Memeburn as managing editor. More