Western Cape working to restore services after severe storm

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Western Cape Provincial Government has urged flood-ravaged municipalities to compile damage assessments for provincial government to present a disaster declaration motivation to the National Disaster Management Centre. 

Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell, said the provincial government needs a national disaster declaration in order for the municipalities to qualify for potential assistance.

Bredell said the provincial government is working to restore services and calculating the costs of the severe storm.

He said the City of Cape Town’s assessment shows that 3 986 structures and 4 449 people are in need of assistance, with more than 30 areas still needing to be formally assessed.

“The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) reported that a stop-and-go is in place on the N1 at De Doorns. The N2 section that washed away at Botriver has been visited by engineers, and there are discussions with the SANDF to provide a temporary solution with a mobile bridge for the short-term. 

“Sir Lowry’s Pass is confirmed open. Pringle Bay and Bredasdorp are still without cell reception and a helicopter has been made available to assist restoring the infrastructure located in mountainous area,” Bredell said.

Noting some of the interventions by provincial government, Bredell said water tankers from other municipalities are being sent to Overstrand Local Municipality to assist.

In Breede River Municipality, the MEC reported that several farms are still inaccessible due to roads being washed away. He said plans are being made to provide the affected people with food and other essentials.

“Work is progressing in Franschhoek, which is currently divided into two inaccessible parts, and the CBD is still without electricity. Road access should be restored in the next 24 hours.

“Eskom reported that major faults are being restored, and power in affected areas in Khayelitsha and Caledon should be restored by [Thursday night]. Smaller faults will be attended to as soon as possible,” Bredell said.

Bredell said he has also written to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting assistance with humanitarian aid. 

“This is now the number one priority, and we need urgent support from the Department of Social Development and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to reach especially people in rural and isolated areas. We are also requesting engineering support from the SANDF to help with temporary roads and bridges, as well as aerial support to help with evacuations and logistics in inaccessible areas.

“Donations are being coordinated by the Red Cross, and anyone wishing to donate is encouraged to contact them. Relief work is being conducted throughout all the affected areas, with 3 250 people currently receiving food from aid agencies, as coordinated by SASSA,” Bredell said. – SAnews.gov.za