Fire Ravages Cape Town, Burns University Library

A wildfire that erupted on Table Mountain in Cape Town on April 18, 2021 had largely been contained by the afternoon of April 19, the city's incident commander, Arlene Wehr, has told the Mail & Guardian. The blaze burnt down a restaurant at Rhodes Memorial and damaged multiple buildings at the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus, including the Jagger Library. University students were evacuated, as well as residents of Vredehoek, Oranjezicht and the upper parts of Walmer Estate.

A post on the University of Cape Town Libraries Facebook page by Ujala Satgoor, Executive Director of the library service, says that the Reading Room of the Jagger Library has been completely gutted. "Thankfully the fire detection system in place triggered the fire shutters thereby preventing the spread of the fire to other parts of the Library. Some of our valuable collections have been lost, however, a full assessment can only be done once the building has been declared safe and we can enter the building. An official statement is forthcoming and until such time, I request that individuals refrain from speculation and conjecture," the statement says.


The University of Cape Town’s Jagger Library, which housed thousands of theses, artworks, and precious documents, was gutted.



Multiple roads have been closed, including the M3 in both directions between Hospital Bend and Rhodes Drive, Philip Kgosana Drive inbound at Hospital Bend, Princess Ann Ave between Main Rd and M3, Woolsack Drive between Main Rd and M3, Chelmsford Rd, Pepper Tree Rd, and Tafelberg Rd, according to Facebook's Crisis Response.

  • South Africa:  Table Mountain Ravaged By Fire

    DW, 18 April 2021

    A blaze broke out inside the national park that is home to the Cape Town landmark. The cause is as yet unknown, but more than 120 firefighters have been dispatched to the scene.… Read more »

The fire on Cape Town's Table Mountain on Sunday April 18, 2021.

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