Reopening vital road networks, a top priority: Mackenzie

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Western Cape MEC for Mobility, Ricardo Mackenzie, has provided an update on ongoing efforts to provide aid and relief to those affected by the recent floods that wreaked havoc over the weekend.

Mackenzie highlighted their top priority, which is to reopen the vital road networks that have been severely impacted by the floods. Restoring road access is seen as essential to facilitate the efficient delivery of resources, food, and assistance to affected communities.

Moreover, the reopening of roads enables children to return to school, trucks to transport essential supplies, and NGOs to reach areas in need.

Mackenzie acknowledged the immense challenges posed by the extreme weather conditions, stating, “The first thing we need to do is to get the roads open because once you get the roads open, you’re able to get resources, food to people; children can go to school…”

“Trucks can get in there with food, NGOs can access; that is the first thing we’re trying to do but we’re trying to do so under conditions, as you can imagine, is extremely difficult. Two months of rain in two days. There’s not a government in this world that can plan for something like that,” adds Mackenzie.

At least 87 roads still closed in the Western Cape amid flooding

The Western Cape Education Department has confirmed that among the tragic toll of eleven lives lost in the wake of devastating storms that swept across the province, three of the victims were primary school learners.

Bronagh Hammond, the Communications Director for the Western Cape Education Department, provided a sobering update on the situation, revealing that approximately 150 schools have reported significant infrastructure damage due to the fierce storms. Additionally, road closures have impacted an additional 52 schools, leading to the official closure of 39 educational institutions.

Hammond emphasised that efforts are already under way to initiate cleanup operations and repair the damaged infrastructure at the affected schools. The priority is to swiftly restore these learning environments to a safe and functional state.

Impact of Cape storms

She also conveyed the heartbreaking news, saying, “Sadly, we have heard of a Grade 1, Grade 4, and Grade 5 learner that have passed away as the result of the storm and electrocution. We are providing the necessary support to those schools, and our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of those learners.”

As the cleanup efforts continue, authorities and education officials remain focused on ensuring the well-being and support of students and staff who have been deeply affected by these tragic events.