Grim weather takes hold of Cape

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Copy of ca p3 a river runs thru them done INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS The lowlands of Khayelitsha have been flooded and paths have been turned into ponds by the heavy rains. Photo: David Ritchie

Cape Town - Wading in ankle-deep water Albert Matwa unlocks the front door to his home in Site B, Khayelitsha.

Water seeps in underneath the door. Inside is his grocery cupboard, empty after its contents were ruined when the flooding began a week ago.

Heavy rains on Monday resulted in his home remaining flooded and uninhabitable.

“I removed my clothing cupboard and TV when it started flooding,” he says.

The 42-year-old petrol attendant will be spending the rest of the winter with a nearby friend.

Flooding is an annual certainty.

“I feel really bad because I’ve been living here nine years already and it happens all the time.

“I would like to move but don’t have the money.”

Several children dressed in tracksuits and wearing Wellington boots stick their heads through the doorway, curious about the damage.

Moments later they run off along a muddy path passing Zonke Miso, 22, who walks carefully between the structures trying to keep her shoes dry.

People posted pictures of hail on Twitter and complained about the cold weather after heavy rains and strong winds battered the Mother City on Monday.

Charlotte Powell, the city’s portfolio head of public awareness and preparedness, said several areas – including Khayelitsha Site B UT Gardens – WB Section and BM Section, were flooded. A total of 382 homes were flooded although there was no evacuation to emergency shelter.

Those living rough on the streets of Cape Town have been struggling to keep warm.

Alfred Franklin, 65, sleeps on cardboard boxes and lies curled up with a jersey and jacket as his only protection against the icy winter chill.

“I’ve been living on the streets for nine years,” he says. “If I don’t have R25 to go to a homeless shelter I end up sleeping on the streets.”

Another homeless man is huddled against his back.

SA Weather Service forecaster Thabisile Ntleko said a few showers were expected on Tues morning, but conditions were expected to clear later in the day.

“More clear skies are expected from Wednesday until Friday. And the cold front will be coming back on Saturday.”

Metrorail spokeswoman Riana Scott said the service remained on high alert on the southern line for high waves, sand on tracks and on the northern line for possible localised flooding.

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Cape Argus

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