Cape Town - Heavy downpours, rough winds and cold temperatures across Cape Town on Thursday resulted in numerous roads and informal settlements being flooded, as well as backed-up traffic and road accidents, but Capetonians will get a bit of relief this weekend with slightly warmer weather expected tomorrow.
However, this will be short-lived as the South African Weather Service has warned that another cold front is expected to land by Sunday afternoon.
Senior forecaster Henning Grobler said: “Fine and warmer weather is expected on Saturday over the Western and Northern Cape. It will become cloudy over the south-western parts of the Western Cape by Sunday morning with another cold front expected to make landfall by Sunday afternoon.”
Grobler said the rainy, cold and windy conditions would extend eastwards over the Western Cape and western part of the Northern Cape by Sunday evening, persisting into Monday. It will start to clear from the west by early Tuesday morning.
Yesterday’s harsh weather had disastrous impacts, with homeless shelters seeing increased demand as people sought refuge and warmth.
Mayco member for urban mobility Rob Quintas said they were aware of flooding in numerous areas.
Shaddie Valayadum, CEO of the Haven Night Shelter, said they had seen an increase of homeless people seeking shelter, food and clothing and that they currently had 21 beds available for men and 25 for women.
“While most of us appreciate the rain, it is really a curse for those who are living in public spaces, the mountain, etc. Haven staff are doing walkabouts on the street to encourage homeless people to seek shelter at any of our or other shelters,” he said.
The Haven Night Shelter said it was grateful to the City for its winter readiness programme and continued support as the City had increased its aid to R800000 this winter to assist qualifying shelters in increasing their bed capacity to deal with the increased demand for the service.
Thando Pimpi, ward councillor in Driftsands, Silvertown, Nonqubela and Khayelitsha, said informal settlements across his ward had been flooded and he had escalated these matters to the Disaster Risk Management Centre, yet nothing was done to assist the areas.
“People’s homes are flooded, yet I’ve received nothing from City officials at the department that serves our people,” he said.
Quintas said localised flooding was only reported at the Kosovo informal settlement.
The City indicated that its informal settlements management department was on the ground and monitoring all areas where the risk of flooding was high. It had been working for many months to reduce flood risks in informal settlements through its education and awareness drive.
“The City spent some R314 million in informal settlement upgrades over the past financial year. This includes site and services upgrades, roadways, stormwater canal upgrades and interventions to improve health and safety and winter readiness interventions,” it said in a statement to the Cape Argus.
Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said: “The City’s winter readiness task team has done a lot of proactive winter preparedness as early as February 2023.