Cape Town - The Department of Agriculture said an initial estimate of agricultural damages as a result of the floods in the Western Cape stands at R1.4 billion.
The Cape Winelands suffered R800 million damage, the Garden Route R82 million and the Overberg R520 million.
Infrastructure damage assessments across the province are still being calculated.
In Camps Bay, a huge sinkhole developed because water streamed from the mountainside on to the street, adjacent to the Theatre on the Bay.
Emergency services have been deployed extensively across the province, through the Road Incident Management System, to assist road users affected by the closures.
The South African National Roads Agency reported that the N2 section 2 remained closed in Bot River. Elevated water levels continue to impact this section of the road, posing a hazard to motorists.
In De Doorns, the N1 section 3 between Sandhills and Orchard intersections is now open, with a Stop/Go traffic accommodation in place for single lane traffic.
Gift of the Givers (GOTG) has launched a campaign on Backabuddy to raise R50 000 in aid of those affected by the floods.
GOTG said there was an urgent need for supplies including sandbags, bottled water, hot meals, fortified foods, mattresses, blankets, new clothing, hygiene packs, sanitary pads, and nappies.
These immediate needs will be followed by the recovery effort which will require building materials, food parcels, stationery, and uniforms. Communities in Botrivier, Caledon, Riviersonderend, Hermanus, De Doorns, Robertson, Ashton, Montague, and Ladysmith are cut off from critical support.
According to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), at least 249 schools have been affected by the storms. On Tuesday, 39 schools were closed. This was reduced to 21 schools on Wednesday, after some access roads were reopened.
About 150 schools reported Infrastructure damage, ranging from minor leaks to major roof damage.
MEC for Education David Maynier said the department was informed of three pupils who died as a result of the storm. The department’s officials are working with schools to ensure they can reopen as soon as possible.
“I visited Franschhoek High School, which has been closed since the weekend’s storms. There is no water or electricity supply to the school, and there is substantial flooding to the access roads, making it impossible for 650 learners to attend school,” he said.
“Our schools will implement catch-up plans to ensure learners do not fall behind as a result of the school days lost this week. Schools close for the spring holidays this Friday, which will provide some breathing room for repairs and restoration of access.”
Individuals who wish to make a meaningful contribution to support those in distress are encouraged to donate through Backabuddy.
As a token of appreciation for their generosity, donors will be eligible to receive a Section 18A tax-deductible certificate issued by GOGT. BackaBuddy offers registered non-profit organisations a free platform.