Picture: for illustration purposes

Western Cape's Costly Aftermath: Torrential Rains Slams Region, Residents Scramble to Heal

Published October 01, 2023
9 months ago

The Western Cape was hammered with torrential rainfall last weekend, causing rivers to burst their banks and impacting several towns. Subsequently, the timely recovery and damage assessment continue to weigh heavily on the inhabitants' minds.

One of the hardest-hit locales was Avalon Springs, a popular resort in Montagu, still reeling from a recent R28m refurbishing. A newly enhanced entertainment area fell prey to the river’s wrath which overflowed and immersed the space in a thick layer of mud. Alongside the entertainment zone, several resort rooms and the lobby were also battered.

General Manager of the resort, Gavin Hatherley, expressed his shock as he surveyed the devastation to his newly revamped pool area, stating the expense of the recent renovations was a hefty R28-million.

The undesirable weather conditions weren't partial to the town's main routes either. The R62, a significant artery between Robertson and the N1 via Worcester, had to close for a day, causing inconvenience for many holidaymakers.

On Wednesday, Sir Lowry's village bore the brunt of mudslides and ongoing clean-up operations are expected to continue throughout the week. Indicatively, at Rasta Kamp, mudslides were so severe that shacks were resting hazardously on the river's edge.

Volunteers and municipal workers were seen furiously trying to remove debris from local streets and clear waterlogged areas. Community centres emerged as points of solace where hot meals were provided.

In light of the severe destruction, Cape Town's Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis labelled the storm a "major incident," a move intended to generate additional funds to aid the victims' recovery attempts and help restore normality to the ravaged parts of the Western Cape.

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