Picture: for illustration purposes

Western Cape faces R1.4 Billion in Agricultural Damages After Unprecedented Flooding

Published September 29, 2023
9 months ago

Unprecedented flooding in the Western Cape has resulted in an estimated R1.4 billion worth of damage to the agricultural sector, according to the Department of Agriculture. The hardest-hit regions include the Cape Winelands with R800 million in damages, the Garden Route with R82 million, and Overberg just shy of R520 million.

This represents a significant calamity to the province's agricultural community, whose contributions are vital to both the local and national economies. As the damage to the infrastructure is still being assessed, the figures may rise significantly in due course.

In the popular tourist hotspot, Camps Bay, a considerable sinkhole has formed, a result of mountain runoff channeled onto the streets, substantially affecting the Theatre on the Bay area. Emergency services, through the Road Incident Management System, are on high alert, working diligently across the province to provide aid to road users affected by the closures.

The South African National Roads Agency reports that due to elevated water levels, the N2 section 2 near Bot River remains closed, posing an ongoing risk to motorists. In the meantime, the N1 section 3 between Sandhills and Orchard intersections, near De Doorns, has been reopened, but with restricted traffic flow and safety precautions in place.

In response to this calamity, local non-profit organisation, Gift of the Givers, has launched a fundraising campaign on Backabuddy to support those most heavily affected by the flooding. The campaign aims to fund the procurement of essential supplies such as sandbags, meals, bottled water, clothing, hygiene products, and building materials critical to community recovery.

The impact of the floods has also seen a marked effect on local education, with 249 schools affected and 39 temporarily closed due to inundation and infrastructure damage. Three students have tragically lost their lives due to the severe weather conditions.

Individuals wishing to make a contribution to the flood relief efforts can donate via Backabuddy or Snapscan, with tax-deductible certificates available to donors as a token of appreciation.

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