South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Tuesday, 26 September 2023

South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Tuesday, 26 September 2023 Photos: Facebook/JulianJansen

LATEST: Western Cape flooding and ROAD closures

It was another torrid night of Western Cape flooding as the province begins to come to terms with the damage.

South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Tuesday, 26 September 2023

South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Tuesday, 26 September 2023 Photos: Facebook/JulianJansen

For many, their Heritage Day long weekend turned into a nightmare as Western Cape flooding took hold across the province. After more than 175 mm of rain in certain areas, Western Cape flooding burst riverbanks. This in turn created mudslides, led to the evacuation of informal settlements and cut off major routes in and out of Cape Town.

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Thankfully, the forecast for more Western Cape flooding has ceased, with rain only predicted again at the end of the week. But the sodden province is left counting the cost of a vicious spell of storms.


Western cape flooding
The Western Cape has been pummeled by storms in the past few days and weeks as unseasonal ‘spring’ weather continues in the province. Photo: Twitter @ChapmansPeakSA

Between Sunday evening and Monday evening, parts of the Overberg region received up to 175 mm of rain. Stellenbosch got 133 mm, and 92 mm fell in the Cape Town CBD, according to BusinessLive. We reported on the SA Weather Service upgrading the storm from level 6 to level 9 over the weekend. This was when the service realised the storm was way more severe than anticipated. The highest warning is 10, making this arguably the most severe Western Cape flooding to date.

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For those who are still cut-off from Cape Town due to road closures, here’s the latest from the Western Cape government. The Western Cape flooding road closures are liable to change at any time. Please keep a close eye on social media to check your route before traveling.


western cape flooding
Almost all informal settlements were impacted by Western Cape flooding. Picture: File.

According to GroundUp, many homes in Sandvlei were flooded when the Eersterivier burst its banks. And about 2 000 families fled their shacks in Mfuleni after heavy rain entered the informal settlement. Although information is in short supply, it’s understood that almost every informal settlement in the Western Cape has been affected by the Western Cape flooding in some way. This includes Bredasdorp, Goliath Estate informal settlement in Kraaifontein, Sewende Laan in Sandvlei, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, Lwandle, Mbekweni, New Rest informal settlement and Gustav informal settlement.

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City of Cape Town spokesperson Wouter Kriel said: “We are still dealing with the situation … the focus now is on prevention, safety and saving lives where necessary. Damage assessment and costs will be calculated later.” Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre’s Schalk Carstens said the centre and all its entities had been prepared days in advance for the Western Cape flooding. “We have never had a storm like this before, Carstens said.


western cape flooding
Flooding caused by heavy rains. Image: WorldInsights_

The Western Cape flooding will prove devastating to local agriculture, although Agri Western Cape CEO Jannie Strydom says it will take a few weeks to properly assess the damage done to farms. Keep in mind that nearly half of all the wheat grown in SA comes from the area. The annual canola oil harvest could also be impacted.

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Western Cape Transport spokesperson Jandre Bakker told BusinessLive that the vast road closures across the province will result in significant additional travel times. With the most significant challenge being the N2 at Botrivier that was washed away and is now impassable. Disaster management is still reacting to emergency situations as they arise and said full assessments of the extent of the damage due to the Western Cape flooding would be carried only when it is safe to do so.

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