South Africa: Western Cape Disaster Management Centre Reports Progress And Calls For Assistance In Recovery Efforts

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The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre reported progress on several fronts at a feedback meeting today.

“We currently have clear skies, and the next cold front is expected to bring only light rain over the weekend. Also, the average dam level in the province is standing at 97%, which is very good from a water security perspective. We were concerned about the level of the Breede River over the past 48 hours, but according to the Department of Water and Sanitation, the river is also starting to subside,” Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning said.

“Municipalities have been requested to compile damage assessments for the Provincial Government to present a disaster declaration motivation to the National Disaster Management Centre. “We need a national disaster declaration in order to qualify for potential financial assistance,” Minister Bredell said.

“I have also written to the President requesting assistance with humanitarian aid. This is now the number one priority, and we need urgent support from the Department of Social Development and the SASSA to reach especially people in rural and isolated areas. We are also requesting engineering support from the SANDF to help with temporary roads and bridges as well as aerial support to help with evacuations and logistics in inaccessible areas,” Minister Bredell said.

The City of Cape Town updated its assessment to reflect 3986 structures and 4449 people in need for assistance. More than 30 areas still need to be formally assessed.

Overstrand rescue operations are ongoing. Fortunately, road access to these areas is being restored which is assisting our work greatly,” Minister Bredell said.

SANRAL reported that a stop-and-go is in place on the N1 at De Doorns. The N2 section that washed away at Botriver has been visited by engineers, and there are discussions with the SANDF to provide a temporary solution with a mobile bridge for the short term. Sir Lowry’s Pass is confirmed open.

Pringle Bay and Bredasdorp are still without cell reception. A helicopter has been made available to assist restoring the infrastructure located in mountainous area.

Water tankers from other municipalities are being sent to Overstrand to assist in their water challenges.

In the Breede River Municipality several farms are still inaccessible due to roads being washed away, and plans are being made to provide the affected people with food and other essentials.

Work is progressing in Franschhoek, which is currently divided into two inaccessible parts, and the CBD is still without electricity. Road access should be restored in the next 24 hours.

Eskom reported that major faults are being restored, and power in affected areas in Khayelitsha and Caledon should be restored by tonight. Smaller faults will be attended to as soon as possible.

Donations are being coordinated by the Redcross, and anyone wishing to donate are encouraged to contact them. Relief work is being conducted throughout all the affected areas. 3250 people are currently receiving food from aid agencies as being coordinated by SASSA. “We are expecting the need to increase and will continue to lobby the national government and monitor this closely,” Minister Bredell said.

Please contact your local disaster centre to stay up to date with events in your immediate area.

Cape Winelands: 021-886-9244 / 021-8874446

Eden District: 044 805 5071

Central Karoo: 023-449-8000

West Coast: 022 433 8700

Overberg: 028 4251690

City of Cape Town: 107 landline or 021 480 7700 and 080-911-4357 (City of Cape Town Disaster Management Centre)

ALL AFRICA

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