Western Cape urged to brace for major weather conditions

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Residents of the Western Cape are strongly urged to be extremely cautious over the next 48 hours as a major weather system makes landfall on Sunday night.

The Overberg, Winelands District, and Somerset West have been placed on a level 9 warning for gale-force wind and possible severe flooding.

Schools in these areas will be closed on Monday.

Very strong wind is fuelling around 40 fires across the province, one of which has gutted an estimated 300 shacks.  Current estimates are that around 2 000 people have been affected.

Strong wind made desperate attempts to clear the area and rebuild as quickly as possible extremely difficult.
Metal sheets were lifted by the wind, flying across the area.

The fire broke out late on Saturday.

Affected residents

A resident Andreya Du Toit says, “The wind is still blowing and it is whereby now we didn’t manage. Then the fire engines also came but they failed because there were no streets here. There are only the passages whereby now the fire engines didn’t even have a place where they could park to fight this fire.”

Another resident, Zizipho Jozana adds, “I was crying like I didn’t cry like that in my life. I didn’t even sleep, I was trying the whole night because I was thinking about my kids. I don’t care about me but my kids, please guys anyone who can help us, please help us, can you please help us to build our houses.”

“We feel devastated and painful and we’re scared that the weather might change and there’s nothing we can do because there’s no place where we can hide,” laments another resident Happiness Mthelo.


Gift of the Givers will remain on site for five days. They started distributing hot meals and blankets.

Gift of the Givers’s  Ali Sablay says, “As the weather pattern intensifies tomorrow with heavy storms they would have to stay in the community halls until this place is evacuated and declared safe. I know it’s a huge number but unfortunately, safety comes first and we are receiving calls already from other informal settlements in Somerset West and Strand where roofs have blown off.”

An urgent disaster management meeting by Western Cape authorities was held on Sunday afternoon.  Various warnings have been issued, including school closures in three areas of the province.

Level 9 alert 

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says, “We’re also saying to people please stay away from mountain passes, stay away from low bridges; don’t take chances because there are flood warnings as well. This is a Level 9, it’s a high flood warning level for the next 24 hours. We’ll update again after tomorrow’s disaster management again.”

At Blaawklippen Estate, one of the oldest wine farms in Stellenbosch, two of its heritage landmark buildings, the Manor House and Jonkershuis, have burnt to the ground.

A fire that started on a neighboring farm in the early hours of Sunday, swept across to the old estate causing devastating damage.