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Floods, Wind And Cold Wreaks Havoc Across Cape Town

Gale-force winds accompanied by flash floods caused havoc in areas around the city, including Luzuko in Philippi East, where walls collapsed and roofs were blown off homes.

City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Centre spokesperson Charlotte Powell said that assessments were done by the DRM teams in the worst-affected areas, including Khayelitsha, Nomzamo and Phola Park in Strand, with no injuries being reported.

Sixty-eight-year-old Luzuko resident Elsie Dongwe said she and her two sons narrowly escaped harm when their house was damaged by severe winds and rain.

“I was just leaving my bedroom, going to another room, when the roof flew away and the planks fell inside.

’’The wall also has a big crack. I don’t know where I’d be if I was asleep during that time.

“My sons stayed in shacks in the backyard, one flipped over and landed next door.

“The other was damaged by a log that landed on the roof and caved in. Luckily, they were both not inside the shacks at that time” she said.

Dongwe, who is retired and currently sells chips and sweets from her house for a living, has appealed for assistance to rebuild her home.

Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) chairperson Ndithini Tyhido said shack dwellers, who would usually be accommodated in community halls – including the vandalised Solomon Mahlangu and Desmond Tutu halls during floods – were affected.

“Shack dwellers who are on housing waiting lists and were not part of the violent land grabs are now forced to sleep in wet, cold shacks.

“Khayelitsha, which has a number of informal settlements, is known for its vulnerability to floods and shack fires during the winter season.

“It is high time that people refuse to be misled by false leaders, who have warm homes.

“We will check for families who need urgent assistance and see where they can be placed, as some have taken pictures of their furniture floating in water,” said Tyhido.

Powell said residents that require emergency shelter must make contact with their local councillors to inform their DRM teams.

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