Khayelitsha Struggles After Gale-Force Winds and Cold Fronts

Khayelitsha Struggles After Gale-Force Winds and Cold Fronts 2

About 4,000 residents of Khayelitsha have been left homeless after gale-force winds destroyed more than a thousand informal structures on Thursday, 4 July. These individuals faced another challenge on Sunday as new cold fronts brought severe winter weather.

The harsh weather conditions are expected to persist throughout the week.

Western Cape communities are grappling with heavy rain, damaging gale-force winds, and plummeting temperatures. Snow has been reported over the Boland and Koue Bokkeveld mountains and extending into the Karoo.

The latest series of cold fronts, which began in the early hours of Sunday, 7 July, are forecast to continue throughout the week.

On Sunday afternoon, heavy seas and the new moon spring high tide pounded the Atlantic coastline.

The South African Weather Service (Saws) had upgraded its warning for damaging winds from Level 6 to Level 8 for Sunday, cautioning about widespread structural damage to both informal and formal settlements.

Sunday’s cold fronts produced gale-force westerly to northwesterly winds of 70–90 km/h, with gusts up to 120 km/h over the City of Cape Town and the Drakenstein, Stellenbosch, Overstrand, and Theewaterskloof municipalities.
Thousands Displaced in Khayelitsha

The primary concern is providing temporary accommodation for the over 4,000 people displaced in Khayelitsha, according to Ali Sablay, operations manager at the humanitarian NGO Gift of the Givers.

“Some of them are sleeping out in the open and with the weather warnings coming that can be destructive for these families,”

he said.

The NGO has supplied additional blankets, warm clothing, and beanies.

“In Ward 99, there were still two elderly people’s wheelchairs badly damaged by the storms and we’ve replaced them,”

Sablay added.

The NGO has received numerous calls for assistance and has sent a team to Makhaza, an informal settlement in Khayelitsha, where about 300 people have been affected by the rain.

“Calls are streaming through from Kanana informal settlement, Barcelona informal settlement, Gugulethu, Kraaifontein, and Sir Lowry’s Pass Village near Strand. We are receiving calls from all the informal settlements around the Western Cape. We just received images from Nomzamo, and it looks like total carnage on that side,”

he said.

Teams on the ground are currently assessing the situation and providing humanitarian assistance to all affected.

“We know that the weather warning stretches as far as the Garden Route, Central Karoo, and Klein Karoo. We have a team on standby on that side as well to render any humanitarian assistance if need be,”

Sablay stated.

Weather forecasts indicate five major cold fronts will hit the Western Cape this week. Gift of the Givers will remain on standby to assist municipalities from Drakenstein to Witzenberg and Breede Valley.

“Some municipalities have asked for assistance with sandbags and black sheeting so people could cover the roofs and prevent the structures being flooded. We will be there for the next few days to assist community members affected by the current storms and those that are predicted for the coming week,”

he explained.

Road Closures, Line Faults, and High Fire Danger

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel during the severe weather.

Some roads in Cape Town were closed due to flooding, including 35th Street and Owen Road in Elsies River, FW de Klerk Boulevard outbound at Marine Drive, Beach and Coronation roads in Maitland, Belrail Road before Adam Tas Street in Bellville, NY3A at Nyanga train station, and Manenberg Avenue and Thames Walk in Manenberg.

Winde advised motorists

“to please be vigilant, proceed with caution and obey the speed limit, and to drive with their headlights on at all times, so they are visible to other road users.”

Eskom reported line faults affecting Tulbagh, Rawsonville, Hex River Valley, and Belhar in the City of Cape Town. The faults have been isolated, and teams are working to restore connectivity.

SAWS also warned of an increased fire danger for the Garden Route District, which will be exacerbated by the strong winds in the coming days.

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Written by Siphiwe Dlamini

Name: Siphiwe Dlamini
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Journalist and Political Analyst

Siphiwe Dlamini is a dynamic and passionate journalist and political analyst based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a unique blend of academic expertise and practical experience, Siphiwe has established himself as a trusted voice in the field of journalism, particularly in political reporting and analysis.

Siphiwe holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, where he honed his skills in investigative reporting, news writing, and multimedia storytelling. Additionally, he pursued a degree in Political Science, deepening his understanding of political systems, international relations, and policy analysis. This interdisciplinary educational background equips him with a comprehensive understanding of the socio-political landscape, enabling him to provide insightful commentary on current affairs.

Throughout his career, Siphiwe has demonstrated a commitment to journalistic integrity and a relentless pursuit of truth. He has worked for several prominent media outlets, including leading newspapers, television networks, and online platforms. His reporting has covered a wide range of topics, from domestic politics and social issues to international affairs and human rights.

Siphiwe's journalistic endeavors have taken him to the frontlines of major events, where he has provided on-the-ground coverage and in-depth analysis. His ability to contextualize complex political developments and communicate them effectively to diverse audiences has earned him recognition and respect within the industry.

Beyond his work in traditional media, Siphiwe is also actively engaged in public discourse, participating in panel discussions, debates, and academic conferences. He is committed to promoting transparency, accountability, and democratic values through his journalism.

As a political analyst, Siphiwe possesses a keen analytical mind and a nuanced understanding of political dynamics. He is adept at dissecting political rhetoric, evaluating policy proposals, and forecasting future trends. His insightful commentary helps citizens navigate the complexities of governance and make informed decisions about their collective future.

Siphiwe's expertise extends beyond mere reporting; he is also deeply involved in advocacy efforts aimed at promoting press freedom, defending human rights, and fostering democratic governance. Through his work, he strives to amplify marginalized voices, hold power to account, and contribute to the advancement of a more just and equitable society.

In his pursuit of excellence, Siphiwe remains dedicated to upholding the highest standards of journalism and serving as a catalyst for positive change in his community and beyond. With his unwavering commitment to truth, integrity, and social justice, he continues to inspire and empower others to engage critically with the world around them.


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