The homes of several Hanover Park residents were damaged by gale-force winds that hit Cape Town on Friday. The South African Weather Services (Saws) had issued warnings, but no-one could have imagined the severe destruction that followed.
One of the affected residents from Athry Walk in Hanover Park, 91-year-old Ephraim Domingo, said he was about to go take a shower, but then he looked out the window and was shocked to see the dark clouds, before the rain pelted down.
He further narrated that when he was still watching through the window, there was a loud noise, and the next thing he knew, the ceiling was on top of him.
Meanwhile, another resident, Tasneem Haskis, 27, said: "I was downstairs in the kitchen when I heard a loud noise, and by the time I got to the window, the roof was gone.
The City of Cape Town has since that confirmed that 20 formal houses and 10 backyard dwellings have been damaged.
The City says damage to these properties was mostly the result of debris from the roofs blown off from surrounding properties in Athry Walk and Phillians Walk in Hanover Park.
Initial assessments state that the roofs of six properties were blown off, and a further nine sustained extensive damage.
As it stands, the City of Cape Town has reported that places such as Hanover Park, Mamre, and Wolwerivier have been affected by damaged structures as a result of the gale-force winds.
"Three of the properties are Council rental units, and City Human Settlements has dispatched their maintenance unit to the tenants," said City Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
“The other properties are private, which limits the City's ability to make repairs. We will instead focus on assisting with coordinating assistance and donations for these residents,” Smith said.
Smith further added that the City’s disaster management centre is coordinating City services to assist the affected communities as well as humanitarian relief through their NGO partners.
“We have attempted to secure large plastic sheets to offer short-term protection to the properties against ongoing rain damage,” Smith said.
Smith also added that Emergency Sheltering was activated at the AME Church in Hanover Park. Various NGOs are on site to assist the community.
Smith also confirmed that 42 structures in Wolwerivier were damaged, with three completely destroyed, and that 81 people were affected.
“Our NGO partners are assisting the community, while those affected are being accommodated in the Wolwerivier Community Hall,” Smith said.
Smith also confirmed that they have received reports of similar storm damage in Mamre.
He also called for private companies or people to assist with donations, particularly in relation to the roof repairs, by making contact with Cape Town Disaster Management Operations Centre on 021 597 6000.