Eastern Cape flood report estimates damage at R500m

Flood damage was reported at the Cango Wildlife Ranch.

Flood damage was reported at the Cango Wildlife Ranch.

Published Jun 6, 2024


The Eastern Cape’s Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department has estimated that damage as a result of flash floods would cost nearly R500 million to repair, with the figure expected to increase.

The department released a preliminary incident report into the inclement weather that affected nine areas in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, including Kariega, and five areas under the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.

There were reports that the death toll rose to 10 after the body of a woman that went missing in the Rocklands area was found.

However, the department’s report, dated June 5, indicated eight deaths with one person missing and 3 969 people displaced.

Affected people have been accommodated at more than 20 different shelters and in other areas. Forty schools suffered minor to extensive damage.

“The preliminary financial implications following damage assessments conducted or estimated cost a total of R498 085 000. In Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality infrastructure damages to water are R35 775 000 roads R359 500 000, electricity infrastructure R11 810 000.

”The Department of Transport roads are R91 000 000. Other sectors must still submit cost damage assessment reports,” the report said.

The recommendations made include provision of temporary shelters and repairs to the affected formal structures.

“The identification of land for development and relocation of settlements in floodline areas to avoid recurring incidents. Repairs on roads that were affected, clearing and cleaning of existing stormwater as part of risk reduction measures. Municipalities to fast track their reports for consolidation and submission to the provincial disaster management centre (PDMC). The PDMC has requested that the incident be classified as a provincial state of disaster through a letter submitted on June 4, 2024 to the National Disaster Management Centre. Given the fact that a provincial classification is requested, municipalities need not process requests for classification or declaration,” it said.

Insurer Santam had received more than 254 claims for damage to property and other assets from various parts of the Eastern Cape on Monday and Tuesday.

Santam’s head of non-motor claims Rowland Ramalingam said they were still uncertain on the extent of the damage and what the claims will possibly amount to.

“We expect the claims to increase in the coming days, as residents commence with mopping up operations. Santam has activated its Catastrophe Claims Management protocols, which require the insurer to deploy personnel to affected areas to service policyholders and expedite the filing of claims,” said Ramalingam.

Meanwhile, in the Garden Route District Municipality, Western Cape the police diving unit and the Red Cross Air Mercy Service had rescued 17 people by on Wednesday and operations still continued in the region following heavy rains and flooding.

Flood damage was reported at the Cango Wildlife Ranch. The surrounding dams reached maximum capacity causing various rivers to break their banks, including the Grobbelaars River, which runs alongside Cango Wildlife Ranch, following significant rainfall in the Oudtshoorn area.

Eleven people were rescued with Pencil Duck from Welgeluk in Oudtshoorn. While six other people, one woman and five men were rescued with a helicopter from the Meiringspoort Pass.

Calitzdorp Hot Springs has been evacuated because of the downflow of the Olifants River.

Municipal head of disaster management Gerhard Otto said: “The peak of the floods has not yet reached all areas in the Garden Route district. For the southern parts of the district, it is expected to only peak in the early hours (Thursday). SAPS Border Police is stationed in Oudtshoorn, with a team on standby in Mossel Bay for any emerging rescue or recovery incidents.”

The Cango Wildlife Ranch and Conservation Centre in Oudtshoorn had to close the facility on Tuesday and evacuated the animals to their Private Reserve and Care Centre.

In the City of Cape Town, disaster risk management officials said they were monitoring high-risk areas and determining the need for humanitarian and engineering relief where impacts have been reported.

There have been reports of flooding in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Wallacedene, Macassar, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village and Nomzamo in Strand.

Western Cape Eskom spokesperson Marcelle Adams reported that they were experiencing significant challenges due to inclement weather conditions affecting towns in various municipal areas and led to delays in repair efforts, impacting customers.

Flood damage was reported at the Cango Wildlife Ranch.

Infrastructure Mec Tertuis Simmers urged the public to be vigilant and practise caution.

“If you are driving and come across flooded roads, please take great care. If the water is too deep for you to see the roadway, do not risk using it. In some instances where roads are underwater, they may not be damaged, but there could be obstacles under the water you cannot see,” he said.

Cape Times