The Western Cape government continues to assist communities who have suffered the effects of a massive storm in the past week with an estimate of 6 000 people affected by the severe weather conditions.
“The greatest challenges were experienced in the City of Cape Town with many low-lying areas that experienced localised flooding. The City estimates the total number of affected persons at 6 000,” said Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell. According to News24, he said that no casualties, missing or injured persons have been reported since.
Bredell further mentioned that the disruption of stormwater and flood management came as a result of unlawful land occupation across the city.
“This resulted in flooding not only of the invaded areas (often inside stormwater infrastructure such as ponds) but also of adjacent roads and formal suburbs.
“Damage to both City and Eskom electrical infrastructure due to vandalism and illegal connections have resulted in wastewater pump stations in many areas being affected, which may slow down operations,” he said.
As reported by IOL, the City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith said that majority of flooding cases took place in areas that were prone to dumping and littering.
“Usually canals are clogged up with debris which will cause flooding in severe weather conditions. Our biggest challenge is within informal settlements.
“70% of the settlements that have flooded are areas which flooded because they are new settlements that have been unlawfully occupied since last year,” he said.
“In these areas, there are stormwater pipes. When the stormwater system is overflowing, the water pushes into the retention plants, fills up and becomes dams.
“However, people have built their settlements here and on flatlands where rivers and canals would usually be.
“Naturally, the water would flood these spaces continually. Even if you pump the water out of these spaces, it will flood right back in,” Smith added.
Meanwhile, Bredell advised that the public remains cautious over the next few days, even though “no new weather warnings for rainfall or wind has been issued” yet. The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre remains on standby.
Emergency numbers that people in the Western Cape can contact:
- City of Cape Town – 107 or 021 480 7700 and 080 911 4357
- Overberg – 028 425 1690
- West Coast – 022 433 8700
- Garden Route – 044 805 5071
- Central Karoo – 023 449 8000
- Cape Winelands – 021 886 9244 / 021 887 4446