The City of Cape Town’s Flooding and Storms Task Team has identified 29 informal settlements at risk of flooding during the coming winter season. Most of the settlements are located along the N2 freeway and Khayelitsha. While the scourge of drought continues to impact communities, mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith, said the City’s winter rainfall patterns cannot be predicted with certainty.
“We have no clear sense yet of how wet it will be this winter. The Disaster Risk Management Centre is still awaiting a long-range weather forecast from the South African Weather Service. Given our desperate need for rain to counter the crippling drought, we are obviously hoping for above average rainfall, but that comes with its own challenges. It is therefore imperative that everyone does their bit to ensure that we are ready for winter.”
Areas at risk of flooding as identified by the City’s Flooding and Storms Task Team:
- 29 informal settlements – most situated along the N2 strip and Khayelitsha – are considered high-risk because of their location. Some of these are situated in wetlands, ponds and natural water-courses and will need to be relocated to higher ground.
- Parts of the N1, N2 and R300 highways have also been identified as flood risks. Roadworks to mitigate these risks are under way.
- Mountain slopes in the Helderberg, South Peninsula and Table Mountain range that have been stripped of stabilising vegetation by fires are a risk for flooding or mudslides.
Private home owners are also encouraged to assess the risk of flooding around their properties.
“If they live close to mountainous areas it is probably wise to consider sandbags in the event of flooding or mudslides; and to ensure that their properties are maintained to reduce weather-related risks,” Smith stated.
Smith further noted that the task team will be engaging with the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in order to ensure that where necessary, disaster relief is provided timeously.
“SASSA has taken over the coordination of disaster relief, which was previously done by the Disaster Risk Management Centre on its behalf and unfortunately we have seen a slowdown in service provision to fire victims. We cannot afford a similar situation in the event that residents are displaced or affected in any way by winter flooding,” said Smith.