Premier thanks all disaster management stakeholders for flooding response

Premier, Alan Winde, and Western Cape Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Minister, Anton Bredell, gave an update on the coordinated disaster management response to the heavy rains and flooding that have affected numerous regions in the province over the past several days. “From the outset, our Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) led the response, coordinating all stakeholders’ efforts to ensure a seamless and speedy operation,” said the Premier.

A series of cold fronts which led to heavy rain between 14 and 19 June caused severe flooding in some regions of the Western Cape. Areas particularly hard hit were the Cape Winelands and the West Coast.

The Western Cape Government’s (WCG) initial focus was on protecting lives, followed by the coordination of humanitarian assistance to ensure that aid reached communities which had been isolated due to the flooding. As we have a reprieve from the rain for the next few days, the WCG will prioritise the recovery and reconstruction, specifically road infrastructure, which has felt the full force of the flooding.

Unfortunately, two people have lost their lives in the flood. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the loved ones of those lost. Each life lost is a tragedy.

The coordinated response to the heavy rain and flooding, led by the provincial government, was assisted by the following entities:

  • South African Air Force
  • West Coast District Disaster Management
  • SARZA Search and Rescue
  • South African Police Service
  • Provincial Traffic Department
  • City of Cape Town
  • Provincial Emergency Medical Services
  • National Sea Rescue Institute
  • Gift of the Givers Foundation

The PDMC, with years of experience in handling such extreme weather events,  has  led the effort admirably and ensured that all operational objectives were achieved. Premier Winde thanked all role players for their extraordinary hard work and dedication, not just over the period of this disaster, but throughout the year. He said, “Our disaster management partners are always ready and prepared to respond to any event, at any time. I applaud their commitment to ensuring as many people as possible were kept out of harm’s way. Tragically, two people died, and my heart goes out to their families and loved ones.”

The Premier added, “All our disaster officials worked around the clock. These kinds of operations can be difficult to manage, but their professionalism endured throughout this exceptionally difficult time, preventing further loss of life and damage to critical infrastructure. Thank you for all you do for our citizens.” He also thanked Minister Bredell and his team at his department for their able and steady hand in dealing with this event.

Colin Deiner, Chief Director of the PDMC, explained how the response was activated in keeping with the centre’s intensive and well-planned winter readiness programme.

The impact assessment focused on the following areas:

  • Flooding in formal and informal settlements
  • Flooding at farms and farming communities
  • Damage to road infrastructure
  • Displacement of vulnerable communities
  • Disruption to essential services
  • Road closures and disruption in traffic

Minister Bredell said, “Coordinating a disaster response of this nature requires many building blocks to be in place. You need the appropriate infrastructure, but more importantly you need highly trained experts who are ready and willing to respond at any time, day or night. Thank you to our team at the PDMC.”

The public is urged to remain vigilant by avoiding river crossings and roads that have been affected by flooding.


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