Road users to be extremely vigilant during the winter storm while driving along the M3 and Philip Kgosana Drive. Picture: Murphy Nganga
Road users to be extremely vigilant during the winter storm while driving along the M3 and Philip Kgosana Drive. Picture: Murphy Nganga

Sandbags placed along M3 to mitigate mudslides after Table Mountain fire

By Murphy Nganga Time of article published May 7, 2021

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CAPE TOWN: Following the devastating fires that burned the fynbos vegetation on Table Mountain, the City of Cape Town Transport Directorate is placing sandbags alongside Table Mountain to prevent flooding and mudslides for the reported stormy weather ahead.

The City’s Mayco member for transport Felicity Purchase said that the directorate undertook two assessments of the risk areas as soon as the fire was doused.

“The sandbags placed along the M3 and Philip Kgosana Drive form part of the mitigation measures the City took and is still taking to prevent flooding, and mudslides and debris from landing up on these roads as far as possible. The areas identified to be most at risk are Vredehoek, Woodstock, Salt River and Observatory, as well as the M3 highway and Philip Kgosana Drive,” said Purchase.

“Apart from the strategic placement of sandbags, we have undertaken several other measures – such as the clearing of stormwater channels with jet machines in lower lying areas, and the installation of silt curtains at strategic locations – to mitigate mudslides, flooding and debris landing up on roads during the rainy season,” said Purchase.

Purchase explained that they were concerned about the flooding of lower lying areas and mudslides after the fires on the mountain. The fire was able to destroy the vegetation that prevents soil from washing down the mountain slopes during heavy rains.

“Despite our best efforts, soil and rocks may still wash into the stormwater system during fierce winter storms, and this could lead to flooding. Soil and loose rocks may also wash on to the M3 highway and Philip Kgosana Drive, so all road users will have to be very cautious when driving along these roads during and after rain events in coming months,” said Purchase.

Peter Louw, who drives on the road often, commends the City for seeing the risk factors caused by the fire and effectively dealing with them. “From my perspective, I think these precautionary measures taken by the City are not to be overlooked. Had the City not stepped in, the mudslides would have affected my business.

“I would sit with a situation where, instead of having three or four trips, I would end up with one because of sitting in traffic due to the mudslides. This affects my daily target, and ultimately my overall income. Hence, this works out better for commuters and other Bolt drivers,” said Louw.

Residents are advised by the City to please report flooding and stormwater blockages as follows:

• Phone the Transport Information Centre at 0800 65 64 63.

• Send an email to [email protected]

Weekend Argus

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