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Cape Town - The pounding rain in Cape Town has claimed a second life, left thousands destitute and flooded a hospital ward.
The cloudy, wet and windy conditions are set to continue, with widespread thundershowers and snow over the high ground on Thursday and Friday.
Rescuers on Thursday recovered the body of a man who died when a cave in Hout Bay, in which he had taken shelter from the weather, collapsed.
On Wednesday a homeless man was found dead under sodden cardboard boxes in Kuils River. His companion was hospitalised.
Richard Daniels, 66, was one of two found by police huddled under sodden cardboard.
Vanessa Jackson, of the private ambulance service ER24, described the discovery of the dead man.
“As the Cape Town crew were heading back to their base, they were flagged down by the police on Main Road near the 7Eleven. The police had found two men huddled under wet cardboard boxes, unresponsive, freezing cold and sopping wet. One man was dead. The second was in a critical condition, with his body temperature at a dangerously low level.”
She said he was loaded into the ambulance and paramedics started resuscitation on him during the drive to Tygerberg hospital.
“By the time they got him to hospital, his condition had improved. He was stabilised and moving his limbs.”
Informal settlements throughout the city were affected, said the city disaster risk management team.
There was a large rock slide on to Chapman’s Peak Drive, and houses in Somerset West were flooded after the Lourens River burst its banks - forcing parts of Vergelegen Medi-Clinic to be closed last night. Nearby, residents of two gated villages smashed holes in perimeter walls to allow the rising floodwaters to flow.
Residents of Paarl were evacuated from their homes to community halls on Wednesday night when the Berg river broke its banks, said the DA.
“Community living near the river has been evacuated to community halls,” said Democratic Alliance Drakenstein constituency head Erik Marais.
“Mayor Gesie van Deventer has called up all councillors to go and assist the communities at risk.
“But, residents in Mbekweni informal settlement said that the municipality had failed them. With dozens of shacks under shin deep water this morning, residents say that there has been no aid or relocation plans for affected families.
Alfred Godongwana, a resident of Mbekweni for 10 years, was rallying support for “mass action” against the municipality. He threatened that a protest “unlike anything the municipality has seen before was imminent”.
Resident Andrew Rabie was seen at the rear of a neighbour’s house, smashing down a wall with a sledgehammer to let the water out of his house. Residents were filling plastic bags with stones to build barricades.
Franschoek Pass, between Franschoek and Villiersdorp, was closed after a mudslide and a small rockfall following heavy rains.
Traffic from Franschoek to Villiersdorp was being diverted to the N2.