Western Cape Disaster Management Centre activated

5 February 2024 | SANews

Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning today confirmed that the Provincial Disaster Management Centre met with stakeholders to plan and coordinate support needed in areas that have been without electricity since Saturday evening.

The power outage has affected large parts of the interior of the Western Cape when Eskom suffered multiple powerline failures due to thunderstorms.

Eskom confirmed that 7 powerline towers collapsed over the weekend, and ground crews are currently assessing the damage.

“As we do not have an indication on how long it will take to restore the powerlines, we must plan for support to critical functions such as water, sewage, hospitals, and schools in the affected areas for the next few days. Also, the weather predictions for this week shows heatwave conditions for the Central and Klein Karoo as well as the possibility of further isolated thunderstorms. This adds complexity to the electricity outage as cold chains and water supply is even more critical during these conditions,” Minister Bredell said.

In the Central Karoo, Leeugamka, Merweville, Laingsburg, Sutherland and Prince Albert have been affected. In the Garden Route District, the town of Ladysmith is affected, and in the Overberg District, Napier, and a substantial portion of the surrounding rural farming community, including the area between Wolwengat up to Pearly Beach, are also affected.

Minister Bredell said that an assessment is currently being done through the various districts, which will inform the support provided to those communities. “Support can be in the form of trucked in water, bottled water, generators for boreholes that provide drinking water, or generators for wastewater systems.  We will be communicating directly with affected communities as information becomes available.”

Minister Bredell confirmed that the Western Cape Government will be working closely with Eskom and local municipalities to provide any support needed to speed up the recovery work.

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