National state of disaster declared for Western and Eastern Cape after September floods

07 November 2023 - 17:13
Among areas affected was Nelson Mandela Bay. File photo.
Image: Werner Hills Among areas affected was Nelson Mandela Bay. File photo.

The trail of destruction unleashed across the Western and Eastern Cape by relentless rain, floods, storm surges and gale force winds in September has been declared a national disaster. 

This was confirmed by Dr Elias Sithole, head of the National Disaster Management Centre, in a notice published in the Government Gazette on Tuesday. 

Sithole said the decision was reached after consultation with organs of state, provincial disaster risk management centres and assessment of the magnitude and severity of the weather.

The disaster classification makes it possible for the provincial government to approach the centre for relief funds to recover and repair damaged infrastructure such as buildings, roads, bridges and water networks, said Western Cape local government, environmental affairs and development planning MEC Anton Bredell. 

“The damage assessments for the September floods are calculated at R441m for provincial infrastructure and a further R154m for municipal damages," he said.

"We will now request the National Disaster Management Centre to approach the National Treasury with these numbers. There is no certainty on how much or when we will receive any support from the national government. The provincial government will reprioritise existing budgets and continue with our own recovery efforts as best we can.”