JOHANNESBURG - South Africa needs to brace itself for some more chaos ahead as October and November traditionally tallied the most severe weather events and financial losses.
Business and government leaders said the financial impact on the country’s economy was expected to go beyond R500 million as assessment and mop up operations continued.
ClimateWise, a coalition of global insurers and brokers, said weather-related catastrophes had increased 600 percent since the 1950s costing the world economy $170 billion in 2016 alone.
In South Africa, flood events last year racked up losses of R700m in insured losses, while the recent Knysna fires and Cape Town storms in June resulted in over R4bn in damages.
Mandy Barrett of insurance brokers and risk advisors, Aon South Africa, said the severity of the flooding and damage “we are seeing is alarming”.
“With much of October and November still ahead of us - traditionally the months that have tallied the most severe weather events and financial losses - there is a need for extra precautions,” added Barrett.
National Sea Rescue Institute crew member Julian Singh carries a child to safety in Montclair.
Johannesburg’s industrial hub of the East Rand was left relatively unscathed by the storm.
East Rand Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Koot Van der Walt said their member companies did not “suffer too much” as damage mostly occurred in residential areas.
“Nothing has been reported to us. We were not affected at all. There was some hail that caused damage in Delmas but it was more residential than in the industry. The towns of Nigel and Springs also did not suffer too much. In Benoni there was a big hailstorm but it mostly residential. Our membership didn’t report to many losses,” said Van der Walt.
The Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa, which represents the metals and engineering industries, said they were not in a position to comment.