Friday, September 29, 2023

Keep a close eye on schools, appeals WCED, as Term 3 ends

''An involved community means schools will not be broken into this school holiday.'' So says Western Cape Education MEC, David Maynier, who appealed to residents to keep a close eye on their local schools as learners and educators go on a short break. Schools close on Friday as Term 3 comes to an end.

Picture: Pixabay


Maynier said the department has subsidised security at 454 schools. This is 18 fewer schools than the June/July holidays.

The MEC said many will enjoy the few days, while others will hold activities for learners as part of its #BackOnTrack programme.

" Our matrics will be hard at work during their Spring School classes, as they count down the days to the start of their final exams. Grade 7, 8, and 10 learners will also be attending #BackOnTrack holiday classes, and our Safe Schools programme will be running at selected schools across the province," said David Maynier, Western Cape Education MEC.

Maynier urged residents to report any suspicious activity in and around schools to the South African Police Service (SAPS) on 08600 10 111 or to the Safe Schools hotline on 0800 45 46 47 toll free.

"We wish all of our teachers, learners, and parents a safe and peaceful holiday!," said Maynier.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Rape suspect sought by Wynberg SAPS

Wynberg Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit are seeking the assistance of the public to trace a suspect who is wanted in connection with a rape case that occurred in the beginning of September 2023

The police’s Joseph Swartbooi said that preliminary investigation suggest the victim and the suspect spent time together that on Saturday, 2 September 2023, using alcohol and drugs.

Swartbooi said the duo left for an address in Ottery Road, Wynberg, where he allegedly raped her.

‘’The suspect is believed to be a medium built Malawian Foreign National. On the day of the incident he was dressed in jeans , a T-shirt and a Denim jacket,’’ said Warrant Officer, Joseph Swartbooi.

PICTURE: Suspect sought for rape case


Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to call the investigating officer Detective Sergeant  Sithembile Nxanxashe on 082 334 8348 or alternatively call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 

 

Done by: Esona Mfazwe

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Western Cape agricultural sector loses R1.4 billion due to floods

The agricultural sector, which suffered from power outages, has been hit harder by flooding in the Western Cape this week.


A severe storm that tore through the province over the weekend left many communities, including farms under water.

Initial assessments of the flood damage are estimated at R1.4 billon.

The provincial Agriculture Department's Aisha Petersen said that 20% of farms in the Cape Winelands District have reported losses of up to R800 million so far.

She added that the second most affected region, the Overberg reported losses of just more than half-a-billion rand.

The district will be able to perform a rapid assessment once the water levels have cleared.

 

Done By: Esona Mfazwe

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

City sees increase of emergency calls following adverse weather

The City of Cape Town says it has seen an influx of emergency calls over the long weekend, as adverse weather rocked the metro.

In a statement, the City said its Public Emergency and Communication Centre (PECC) recorded 2 671 incidents over the long weekend, and of these 874 were recorded on Monday.  The centre also recorded 160 incidents of obstructed roadways – nearly 85% of the incidents were reported on Monday.

COURTESY: Gift of the Givers


Mayoral Committee Member for Safety & Security, JP Smith, said that while the PECC generally records a handful of calls in the category of environmental calls, this past weekend saw 162 such calls – 90% of them on Monday. He added that environmental calls includes pollution, structural flooding, landslides and severe storms.

‘’The call categories and volumes further amplify the very difficult weekend that Cape Town and much of the province experienced. Our emergency and enforcement services were really put to the test, given the magnitude of the frontal system and the many, and varied impacts. And while the weather has cleared, there is still much work to be done. The City's overall efforts are being coordinated by the Disaster Risk Management Centre, through our Disaster Coordinating Team, and we must extend our sincere appreciation to everyone involved in this mammoth undertaking.’’

Meanwhile, the City’s enforcement agencies made 418 arrests in the past week, which saw a 20% increase week on week.

Smith lamented the number of drivers arrested for being intoxicated behind the wheel.

‘’The statistics also show that there were at least 79 motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents recorded by the PECC, while our enforcement staff made 77 arrests for drunk driving. The weather clearly didn't slow down these individuals, but hopefully the time spent behind bars will have given them some pause for thought,’’ said JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security.

 

Done By: Alungile Njemla

LEAP officer recovering in hospital after he was shot in Khayelitsha

Western Cape police are probing a case of attempted murder after a Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officer was shot and wounded in Makhaza, Khayelitsha. The incident occurred on Tuesday night.



"According to reports, the victim was seated in a law enforcement vehicle when he was approached by unknown suspects who shot him. The victim managed to drive away from the scene to a fire station, where he received treatment. He was transported to a medical facility for further treatment. The suspects fled the scene and are yet to be arrested,’’ said Sergeant Wesley Twigg.

The Western Cape’s Police Oversight & Community Safety MEC, Reagen Allen, said he is angered by the incident and has called on anyone with information to come forward.

"I'm deeply angered by the shooting of LEAP officer Gift. The 30-year-old officer who works at the Bishop Lavis base, was shot multiple times. It's alleged that he came under fire in Khayelitsha when he stopped to get something to eat. At this stage, the motive seems to be robbery, as his service firearm and bulletproof vest were taken.’’

‘’It is becoming crystal clear that both law enforcement and SAPS are being targeted… Just as with any attack on any law enforcement or SAPS officers, I also regard this on an attack on the state. The relevant laws and charges should be added. Like all other criminals, we need these criminals behind bars,’’ added Allen.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Cape Town mayor signed a major incident declaration

Cape Town mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, signed a major incident declaration to unlock more resources and relief measures to deal with the impact of severe flooding and strong winds.

The severe weather resulted in significant damage due to flooding, mudslides, rock falls, fallen trees and damage to buildings and infrastructure as well as the disruption of services. At least eight fatalities were linked to the impact of the weather, and these include the deaths of children.

Many areas were affected, by the storm including Helderberg, Sandvlei, Macassar, Strand, Somerset West and Gordon's Bay.

PICTURE: X - @Geordinhl



Mayor Hill-Lewis said significant work was under way to assist with recovery, to offer humanitarian relief, and to reconstruct and rehabilitate affected areas.

“It is very important for me to have visited the affected areas in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village and Rasta Kamp and to make an assessment of the number of structures that will need to be rebuilt and people needing immediate relief due to the damages. Today, as Mayor, I signed the necessary documents required to declare a major incident, which will enable a greater response,” said Mayor Hill-Lewis

The South African Social Security Agency was notified of the incident and has been requested to provide social relief assistance too.


Done by: Esona Mfazwe

Three men killed in Ravensmead, hours after mass murder in Gugulethu

Another mass murder has been reported in Cape Town. This time in Ravensmead.



Western Cape police confirmed that they are investigating the murder of three men who were shot and killed in Lemoen Court, on Tuesday afternoon.

‘’It is alleged that the victims aged 31, 37 and 43 were walking towards in Ravensmead when they came under fire. All three died on the scene. The suspects, who subsequently fled the scene are yet to be arrested. AGU detectives are hard at work following several leads in their quest to find the perpetrators of the shooting incident believed to be gang related,’’ said Brigadier Novela Potelwa.

The latest incident follows hours after five people were murdered by unknown gunmen in Gugulethu. The motive for the attack is unknown and no arrest has been made.

 

Done By: Esona Mfazwe

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

12k people affected due to Cape Storms, as mop-up operations continues

The City of Cape Town said 12 000 people have been affected by this weekends storm, as mop-up operations are continuing across the Cape Metro.

PICTURE: X - @TrafficSA: Road collapsed due to storm on R44 Clarence Drive


The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management’s Charlotte Powell gave an update, just after 15:00 on Tuesday, and said their NGO partners are assisting communities in the worst affected areas and supporting community based organisations with hot meals, food parcels, blankets and mattresses.

‘’The following have been assessed by Disaster Management teams: Informal settlements in  Hangberg Hout Bay, Grassy Park, Kampies IS, Egoli IS, Oasis IS, Ocean View and Fish Hoek, Dunoon, Zwe Zwe, Bloekombos, Kraaifontein, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, Macassar and Khayelitsha.’’

‘’A bridge collapse in Sandvlei, Macassar is being attended to.The Wemmershoek Dam is opened at stage 1 and the dam level is  stabilized. A fallen tree has caused a burst water pipe in Kloof Nek, Camps Bay,’’ added Charlotte Powell, the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management spokesperson.

Powell said the City’s Fire and Rescue Services are assisting with the uprooted pine trees that fell on a housing structure in Simon’s Town. She added that the SPCA is assisting residents in Macassar with the feeding of farm animals and in Mfuleni, as some farmers lost animals during the storm.

PICTURE - Adrian Louw: Tree uprooted at the Cissie Gool House, formerly Woodstock Hospital


Earlier, Powell confirmed that eight people were electrocuted in Cape Town over the long weekend - four people died in the Covid -19 informal settlement in Driftsands, as well as four children in the Klipfontein area.

Meanwhile, Eskom in the Western Cape said approximately 15 000 customers in the province are still without electricity, following the storm.


Done By: Mitchum George

About 15k without electricity, following Cape Storms

Eskom in the Western Cape says it is trying its best to restore electricity as quickly as possible, to approximately 15 000 customers in the province, following inclement weather experienced in the province, over the long weekend.

These areas include Caledon, Greyton, Grabouw, Jagersbis, Kraaifontein, Worcester, Somerset West, and parts of Khayelitsha.

PICTURE: Pixabay


In a statement, Eskom said the number of tyhose without power has significantly decreased, as more than 82 000 households were without electricity on Monday.

‘’With more favourable weather conditions ahead, Eskom technicians are aiming to restore electricity supply to all customers who were affected due to the inclement weather as soon as possible.’’

‘’Eskom urges the remaining affected customers to continue remain patient and apologises for any inconvience,’’ it added.

 

Done by: Mitchum George

More than 3 600 suspects arrested by WC SAPS for various crimes

Western Cape police arrested more than 3 600 in the past week for various crimes committed. The arrests are part of SAPS’ ‘Operation Shanela.’

Operation Shanela are where officers are deployed to combat the prevalence of serious crime and crime generators such as drugs, alcohol and firearms through the execution of high density blue light patrols, the conducting of road blocks, vehicle checkpoints and compliance inspections as well as raids on illegal shebeens and drug outlets in hotspot areas throughout the province.

PICTURE: SAPS


Of the 3 637 suspects arrested between 18-24 September, 946 suspects were arrested an array of other crimes, 285 for common assaults; 222 arrest for assaults with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, 129 wanted suspects were arrested in the past week, 123 arrests were made for property related crime such as burglaries, 111 undocumented persons (Illegal immigrants), 86 arrests for drunken driving offences;  58 arrests for rape and 3 for attempted rape, 33 arrests for murder and 28 for attempted murder; and 25 suspects were arrested for car hijackings.

PICTURE: SAPS


In the same period, officers also confiscated 24 firearms, including one rifle and six homemade guns, 573 rounds of ammunition of different calibre, 20 kg dagga, 2 691.2 grams of tik and 12 415 mandrax tablets, 36 353.14 litres of liquor, 99 kg of copper cable and 283 dangerous weapons 

PICTURE: SAPS


All the arrested suspects, are expected to make their court appearances in different Magistrates’ courts once they have been charged.

‘’The high density integrated operations comprised various units such as Vispol, Detectives, Crime Intelligence, AGU, POP, Law Enforcement, other specialised units, K9, private security companies and neighbourhood watch structures,’’ said Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie.

‘’The Western Cape police management promised to maintain the high density patrols and crime combatting operations with the focus to bring down then high levels of crime in the province.  Thus far endeavours seems to be successful, but the momentum must be maintained to achieve a significant decline in crime,’’ he added.

 

Done By: Bush Radio News reporter

Atleast eight people died after storms swept through the Western Cape

Damaging winds and heavy rains lashed the province over the long weekend, resulting in widespread flooding and severe damage to electrical infrastructure.

According to the City of Cape Town, the weather has since improved, and mopping-up efforts and damage assessments are about to get started.

Four victims were found in the COVID-19 informal colony in Driftsands, according to city officials, and four minors were found in the Philippi east neighborhood.

When police arrived to the Philippi informal settlement of Klipfontein Mission Station on Monday, they discovered locals pulling four boys' bodies out of a nearby dam. They were pronounced dead at the scene, and an inquest has been opened as part of the ongoing inquiry.

Rescue personnel started looking for a person Monday who washed away in the floodwaters in the Bo Radyn neighborhood of Villiersdorp.

A man who got bathed in Botrivier was found clinging to a tree.

 

Done by : Esobusi Mkangelwa

Woman to appear in court after she dispose dog, still alive, in a refuse bin in Pelican Park

WARNING: This blog contains graphic details and images.

 A female suspect is expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrates Court on Tuesday, after she allegedly disposes a dog, still alive, in a refuse bin.

It is understood the discovery was made when the City of Cape Town’s Urban Waste Management team, conducted their weekly refuse collection in Pelican Park on Thursday.

SUPPLIED: Cape of Good Hope SPCA 


According to the Cape of Goodhope SPCA, workers, while emptying a dustbin into the truck, they found the dog, still alive, taped inside a plastic bag.

‘’The officials took immediate action to save the dog from potential harm from the truck machinery. The animal was found in a severe state, with his legs bound together and face taped shut. The critical condition of the dog showed clear signs of intentional abuse, as it bore multiple injuries and bruises,’’ said Jaco Pieterse, Cape of Good Hope SPCA Chief Inspector.

SUPPLIED: Cape of Good Hope SPCA 


Pieterse said upon discovery, a concerned neighbour came forward to help the officials identify the dog’s residence. At the residence, the accused individual took the dog back, pretending ignorance about the incident and pretending to show concern for the dog and his injuries.

’The dog’s owner, on learning about the event from neighbours, sought CCTV footage from a business across his residence. The security of the business reviewed the CCTV footage. The CCTV footage revealed the horrifying truth: the owner’s girlfriend, now identified as the main accused, was seen throwing the already bound dog into the refuse bin. She returned later, brutally beating the dog for over an hour with the blunt end of a wooden pole,’’ he said.

SUPPLIED: Cape of Good Hope SPCA - Stick used to beat Scruffy, the dog.


Pieterse said the Cape of Good Hope SPCA was alerted of the incident, and Inspectors Jason Page and Werner Taljaard discovered the severely injured dog, named Scruffy, with his face and body showing traumatic signs of abuse.

‘’The footage left no doubt about the perpetrator. The accused confessed to her actions, justifying her cruelty as irritation with the dog, further inflamed when scolded by her partner when she tried to reprimand the dog.’’

“How the dog survived this torture is a miracle.” said Cape of Good Hope SPCA Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse

The inspectors arrested the accused after gathering evidence and witness statements, and took her to the Grassy Park police station.

‘’Charges of animal cruelty have been laid against her in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 for the appalling torture of the dog,’’ said Jaco Pieterse, Cape of Good Hope SPCA Chief Inspector.

Scruffy is currently under the care of Cape of Good Hope SPCA Animal Hospital.

Dr. Rivona Ramnanan, who attended to Scruffy, shared that the dog’s face and body were significantly swollen and bruised. Radiographs confirmed soft tissue damage and a fracture to the right zygomatic arch.

“The nature of the injuries suggests blunt force trauma. The force required to cause such a fracture is substantial.”

 

SUPPLIED: Cape of good Hope SPCA 


A non-profit organisation based in Khayelitsha, Mzananda Animal Clinic, condemned the incident. Speaking on Bush Radio on Tuesday, Marcelle Du Plessis, who is the fundraising and communications executive says there 

Marcelle du Plessis, the Fundraising and Communications Executive at Mdzananda Animal Clinic, advised residents to take the pet to an animal shelter.

''It is unacceptable to throw an animal away into a dustbin. You are essentially condemning it to death, so definitely contact an animal welfare organisation - most of us has shelter facilities, so we will take the animal in and care for it, until we can find a new home, or if you have family or friends - so many people often do want a new pet, so even by putting the word out, you might find someone that want to adopt an animal from you.''


Done By: Mitchum George

Suspects take out rifle as Golden Arrow bus gets robbed in Gugulethu

Western Cape police are on the hunt for suspects who robbed a Golden Arrow bus, two weeks ago.

SCREENSHOT of GABS bus being robbed in Gugulethu


In videos gone viral, it can be seen from the CCTV footage, that the bus came to a stop to pick up the seven men in Gugulethu. The one suspect boards the bus, gives way to two of his accomplices who proceeds to take out a gun and rifle. The suspects then threaten the driver to handover the cash, or be shot. The other suspects proceeds to rob the passengers.

Five men are inside the bus while two are standing at the door.

The incident occurred at around 12.30pm on a NY3A route.

After the robbery they disembark and can be seen putting the rifle back into the backpack.

Golden Arrow Bus Services spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said: “Golden Arrow can confirm that the footage forms part of an active investigation related to a robbery which took place on September 16.”

Western Cape police said the suspects are still at large.

“According to reports, the complainant in the matter, employed at a local transport company as a driver, was driving in NY 3A in Gugulethu on Saturday at around 12.30. Unknown males entered the vehicle, threatened the complainant and forced him to stop the vehicle,’’ said Warrant officer, Joseph Swartbooi.

“The suspects then robbed all the passengers of their cellphones, cash and valuables at gunpoint. The suspects then disembarked, fled the scene and are yet to be arrested. The motive for this attack is robbery. Gugulethu police registered a case of robbery with a firearm for further investigation,’’ he added.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident is kindly requested to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Three killed as Golden Arrow bus overturns in Cape Storms

Three people were killed and dozens injured, after the bus they were travelling in overturned on Monday morning.

The Golden Arrow bus was travelling on Jakes Gerwel Drive, and was headed for Century City and carried 38 passengers.

PICTURE: Facebook - JP Smith


Amy Carelse, Marlize van Rooi and Yarick Damons of Mitchells Plain were killed in the accident.

PICTURE SUIPPLIED: Victims killed in bus crash


Golden Arrow Bus Service confirmed the incident and said the injured were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Western Cape police said Athlone SAPS are probing the matter.

“Upon their arrival in Jakes Gerwel Drive at around 8.45am, they found a bus from a local company lying on its side in the road. They immediately requested the help of the emergency services. Three passengers sustained fatal injuries and were declared deceased at the scene by the medical personnel, while 35 passengers sustained injuries and were transported to nearby hospitals for medical treatment,’’ said Warrant officer, Joseph Swartbooi.

“Athlone police registered cases of reckless and negligent driving as well as culpable homicide for further investigation,” he added.

Western Cape’s Mobility MEC, Ricardo Mackenzie, wished the injured passengers, a speedy recovery.

“My heartfelt condolences go out to those who lost loved ones in the tragic bus incident in Cape Town this morning. I also wish a speedy recovery to the people who are injured.

The police are appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Eight people electrocuted; About a thousand structures affected, following Cape Storms

Eight people were electrocuted in Cape Town over the long weekend, as adverse weather conditions caused havoc in the Western Cape.

PICTURE: X- @Floodlist


The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management spokesperson, Charlotte Powell, said four people died in the Covid -19 informal settlement in Driftsands, as well as four children in the Klipfontein area.

Giving an update on Tuesday morning, Powell said mop-up operations are continuing.

She said emergency services assisted six children trapped in three different houses in Strand and evacuated them to Strand Fire station.  Residents were evacuated from a retirement village in Somerset West, and 170 people were evacuated to a hall in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. Emergency teams also assisted with evacuations from Faure and Sandvlei in Macassar. Powell said residents indicated that they will seek shelter with friends and family. 

‘’A group of people was reported trapped at the Kogel Bay resort as a result of roads being closed on both sides leading to Gordon’s Bay and Rooi Els.  The Provincial Disaster Risk Management Centre assisted the City in rescue efforts,’’ said Charlotte Powell, the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management spokesperson.

She said just under a thousand structures have been impacted by flooding.

These areas were affected by flooding in informal settlements:

Shuku-Shukma & Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, Rasta Camp, Riemvasmaak, 7de Laan Sandvlei Macassar, Old Faure Driftsands, Mfuleni, Bellville South, NY111 Gugulethu, Barcelona IFS Gugulethu,  Greepark IFS Mfuleni, Thabo Mbeki IFS Philippi East, RR Section PJS Section TRA Section in Khayelitsha,  Taiwan IFS Site C Khayelitsha, Paul Avenue Macaza IFS Khayelitsha, Morkel Cottages IFS Strand, Ekuphumleni IFS Du Noon. DM Section, France IFS, QQ Section, Green Point, Qandu Qandu IFS and SST IFS, Khayelitsha, 8ste Laan IFS Valhalla Park.

Flooding of formal dwellings has also been reported in several areas, including  Durbanville, Bo-Kaap, Schaapkraal, Bellville South, Belhar, Sandvlei in Macassar, Strand, Gordons Bay, Knorhoek, Scottsdene and Hout Bay.

Powell said a Building Inspector have attended to a house in Sir Louwrys Pass Village which was busy collapsing.

‘’Sand and milling has already started being distributed to assist affected communities, while a number of humanitarian relief agencies are assisting with meals, blankets and other supplies like baby packs.’’

Other incidents include uprooted trees, which were reported in in Hout Bay Main road, Macassar, Rondebosch East, Durbanville, Kuilsriver, Woodstock, Klipheuwel IFS, Malmesbury farms, Goodwood, Bellville, Protea Village, Uitsig, Brackenfell and Belmont Park. The Recreation and Parks is attending to these incidents.

Furthermore, rivers in Lourens- and Eersteriver  have burst its banks, and Spaanschemat River burst its bank onto M42 opposite Tokai Forest. At Wemmershoek Dam, the sluice gate was opened at stage 6 to mitigate downstream flooding but opening of gates has been downgraded to stage 3.

Powell said weather related power outages were experienced in several parts of the city, adding that electricity technicians have been attending to affected areas to restore power. 

‘’Assessments will continue today. [Tuesday]. Any incident presenting a risk to public safety should please be reported to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 7700,’’ said Charlotte Powell, the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management spokesperson.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Detectives investigate murder of five men in Gugulethu

Western Cape police are investigating murder cases of five people who were shot and killed by unknown gunmen on Monday evening in Gugulethu.



According to the police’s Novela Potelwa, local police were called to Fenqe Street in KTC. Upon arrival, they discovered the bodies of five men with gunshot wounds inside two vehicles.

“The victims were sitting inside two vehicles when another vehicle with armed men emerged and shots were fired at the occupants of the two vehicles,” said Brigadier Novela Potelwa.

Potelwa added that the motive for the shooting is incident is unknown. No arrests have been made.

The first quarterly crime statistics for 2023 (April - June 2023) revealed an increase of 37.2% in the murder rate in Gugulethu, when compared to the same period a year before.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape's Police Oversight & Community Safety MEC, Reagen Allen, says he is horrified by the incident.

''Life should not be this cheap, where others decide that they can take it as they please. These heartless killers must swiftly be arrested. Anyone with information should assist with SAPS so that these perpetrators can be removed as we cannot have these type of individuals living amongst us.''

''I'm deeply concerned on what transpired in Gugulethu... We have been making positive strides in the area and need to ensure that this is maintained. We cannot allow the criminal element to once again get there filthy and murderous claws in our communities,'' he added.


Done by: Esona Mfazwe


*THIS BLOG WAS UPDATED TO ADD THE COMMENT OF THE MEC

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Disaster Management Centre on high alert as Cape Storms set to intesify

The Western Cape’s Disaster Risk Management Centre says they are on high alert after an update from the South African Weather Services confirmed that the approaching storm will be more severe than was previouslycommunicated.

The weather service previously issued a yellow level 2 and 6 warning, but that has intensified to a Level 9 Warning for heavy rains in parts of the Overberg, Cape Winelands, Cape Metro and spreading towards the Garden Route District, on Monday

Excessive lightning, strong downdraft as well as large amounts of small hail can also be expected. Strong winds can also be expected to uproot trees, carry outside objects, furniture and loose gutters and  roof tiles and cause damage to garage doors, sliding doors and windows. 

The Western Cape’s Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell, said the approaching cut off low storm system is expected to bring torrential downpours exceeding 100mm in places.

“Our dams are full, and the soil is already saturated after good rains this winter. Such heavy downpours in a short space of time can lead to flash floods, mudslides, and general flooding of roads and residential areas. It is anticipated that the brunt of the storm will be experienced tonight, complicating potential rescue operations if needed.’’

The City of Cape Town’s Disaster risk Management, Charlotte Powell said all relevant Departments are on high alert to deal with any impacts brought on by the forecast.

Powell gave tips to mitigate the inclement weather

‘’The public is urged to secure and fix these objects and cover doors and windows. It is also strongly advised to avoid travelling if possible at all. If not, please ensure defensive driving at all cost’’

*Avoid crossing high, exposed bridges

*Be cautious when overtaking trucks and large vehicles

*Be cautious in areas exposed to high winds such as open stretches of roads, tunnels through mountainous areas and roads that run under power lines

‘’We ask that the public please be cautious on the roads and avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped in a vehicle during a flood, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level, and switch off electricity at the supply point to the building.  Be especially cautious at night when it's harder to recognise flood dangers. ‘’

‘’Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers. It is strongly advised that the public regularly follow weather forecasts on television, radio, as well as all  social media platforms,’’ added Charlotte Powell, spokesperson from the City of Caope Town’s Disaster risk Management.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

Saturday, September 23, 2023

SAWS warns of heavy winds and rough sea conditions in Cape provinces during long weekend

Western Cape residents needs to brace themselves as the South African Weather Service has warned of widespread flooding and damaging winds over the Cape provinces this long weekend as an intense cut-off low moves over South Africa.


In a statement, the SAWS said the cut-off low pressure will mainly be from Sunday onwards, adding that the Western – and Eastern Cape will experience the brunt of the extreme weather conditions, with the potential for widespread flooding, very rough seas, and damaging winds to occur,

‘’Global and in-house (regional) numerical model data has since aligned, and confidence with regard to the expected disruptions is higher. Torrential 48-hour rainfall in excess of 100-200 mm is possible in places over the Western and Eastern Cape provinces from Sunday into Monday, with damaging winds (60-80km/h) likely in some areas,’’ read the statement.

It said the Wild Coast and adjacent interior of the Eastern Cape and the Overberg, Southern Cape Winelands and Garden Route Districts of the Western cape can expect torrential rainfall over the next few days, with widespread flooding of roads, bridges and property (informal and formal) and danger to lives.

The National Sea Rescue institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon, urged everyone in the places to be cautious as the heavy rainfall may cause flooding in areas like inland rivers, dams and waterways.

‘’We are appealing to the public to follow SAWS weather warnings and updated weather forecasts. Don’t deliberately get into harms way. While some areas appear not be affected, those in affected areas NSRI are appealing for safety.’’

Lambinon also appealed to Seafarers to wear their life jackets while at sea and for coastal hikers, shoreline anglers, paddlers, sailboarders, surfers and bathers to rather stay away from rough seas and be safety conscious.

The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management, Charlotte Powell, said all its relevant Departments are on standby to deal with any impacts brought on by the forecast.

Powell reminded the public of the following tips on flood preparedness, mitigation and prevention:

•        Clearing out drainage systems

•        Raising the floor level of a structure so that it is higher than the natural ground level

•        Making sandbags

•        Digging trenches around the house to divert water away

•        Reporting blocked drains, intakes and illegal dumping – illegal dumping in the stormwater canals and sewers makes flooding worse.

•        Fix leaking roofs.


The Western Cape’s Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell, said the DRMC is ready to play a coordination role if needed this long weekend.

“All emergency, essential, as well as safety structures, are placed on a state of readiness and contingency plans are in place for any eventuality that might occur. We are asking the public to please be careful from Sunday late afternoon until Monday. The weather will be very unpleasant and even dangerous in some places. Travel and visits to coastal towns, especially in the Overberg and Garden Route district municipalities should be carefully considered. No recreational sea activities are recommended due to the higher than usual waves and very strong winds which are expected.’’

 

Done By: Esona Mfazwe & Mitchum George

Friday, September 22, 2023

Mpumalanga man sought after he went missing at Camps Bay beach

A 21-year-old man is being sought after he went missing at Camps Bay beach, on Friday afternoon.

PICTURE: NSRI


The National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) Craig Lambinon said the man, who is from Middleburg in Mpumalanga, appears to be part of a church group from Mpumalanga who were visiting the beach during a weekend church event in Green Point.

‘’At 13h53, Friday, 22 September, NSRI Bakoven were activated following an eyewitness report of a man missing at Camps Bay Beach… NSRI Bakoven launched the rescue craft Gemini Legend. Cape Town Helicopters dispatched 4 helicopters, at various stages during the afternoon, during routine flights, to assist and conduct aerial sea searches. Five NSRI rescue swimmers deployed into the surf to free dive search,’’ said Craig Lambinon, NSRI spokesperson.

COURTESY: NSRI


‘’No sign of the man has been found - a search operation is continuing. SAPS WPDS (Water Policing and Dive Services) and an EMS rescue Squad drone team are on the scene assisting in the air, sea and shoreline search,’’ added Lambinon.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

CoCT records increase in dispense of medication at pharmacies; September marks Pharmacy Month

More than 6.8 million pharmacy items were dispensed by the City of Cape Town in the 2022/23 financial year. This is 400 000 more than the previous financial year.

The seven percent growth year-on-year, released by City Health, comes as September marks Pharmacy Month.

PICTURE: CDC


According to the City, Medications most used within City Health are those for the management of TB and HIV/Aids, as well as vaccines in terms of the expanded immunisation programmes for children.

Mayco member for community services and health, Patricia van der Ross, said this month shows the important role that pharmacists and support personnel play in ensuring public health and safety.

‘’The statistics are a clear signal of the important link that pharmacies are in our health chain, but it’s also indicative of more people getting tested, and starting treatment, which is good news. I think it’s important for the public to understand and appreciate how critical the work done in our dispensaries is to their overall health and well-being. When asked about their key message to clients, our pharmacists encouraged people to be honest and open about medications that they are on, and to try and source all of their medication from a single pharmacy, where possible. Not only does this mean that staff are familiar with your medical history, but it is also easier to manage different medications should the client have multiple conditions,’ said Patricia Van der Ross, Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health.

The theme for Pharmacy Month for 2023 is educating the public on the role of pharmacists and pharmacy support personnel in delivering primary healthcare services to the community; promoting the uptake of immunisation and educating the public on adverse drug identification and reporting.

Van der Ross said the City’s pharmacists dispense medication, but are also responsible for appropriate storage and care of medication, including vaccinations and medication requiring refrigeration.

 

‘’Staff pre-package medication for chronic patients, to reduce waiting times when they have to refill their prescriptions. This also helps reduce waiting times for other clients. They are also able to advise on any potential adverse reactions to medications, and how to safely manage your prescriptions.’’

The Mayco Member urged the public to dispose of expired or unwanted medication by returning it to their nearest clinic or private pharmacy for safe disposal.

‘’Most of us have medicine cabinets or drawers at home, and it’s very likely that some of the items have expired. Let’s all do a thorough check and see what needs to be disposed of. Please also remember to not leave medication lying around, particularly if you have small children or pets in the home. Medication is designed to save lives, but if used incorrectly, it could potentially cause great harm,’’ said Patricia Van der Ross, Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

 

SANDF names submariners killed during Kommetjie drill

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has named the officials who lost their lives on Wednesday in a navy vessel incident off Kommetjie, near Cape Town.

The SANDF identified the submariners as Lieutenant Commander Gillian Elizabeth Hector, Master Warrant Officer William Masela Mathipa and Warrant Officer Mmokwapa Lucas Mojela.

Hector was the first woman officer in Africa to navigate a submarine combat officer.

PICTURE: Facebook - Gillian Hector


The three submariners died when a high wave swept seven crew members out of the sea.

According to the SANDF, the SA Navy submarine was en route to Cape Town while conducting a vertical replenishment submarine by means of a SA Air Force Maritime Lynx helicopter when the incident occurred.

“A distress call was made to Cape Town Radio ,who were then dispatched to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) from Kommetjie. All seven members were recovered but sadly there were three fatalities, with one senior official in critical condition,” the SANDF said in a statement.

The remaining members, including the surface swimmer, are currently being treated in hospital.

According to the SA Navy, the bereaved families have requested privacy during this difficult time and have asked media and the public to respect their wishes.

Mobility MEC urges road users to be extra cautious, this Heritage Day long weekend

The Western Cape’s Mobility MEC, Ricardo Mackenzie, has urged road users to be extra cautious, this Heritage Day long weekend.

‘’The Heritage Day long weekend [are] ahead of us, which coincides with the closure of some schools, is an excellent opportunity to enjoy quality time with friends and family and explore the beauty of our province.’’

‘’Please take extra care on the roads to ensure safetravels for yourselves and your loved ones. Long weekends usually mean increased volumes of vehicles on the road and a higher risk of fatal traffic crashes. We are also expecting some heavy rain in the latter part of the long weekend,’’ added Ricardo Mackenzie, Western Cape’s Mobility MEC.

PICTURE: X - @CapeTownFreeway


The MEC said traffic officials will be out in full force on the province’s roads to ensure compliance.

‘’Our Western Cape Traffic Law Enforcement officers – who are on duty 24/7 every single day of the year – are being deployed this weekend to heighten visibility on all major routes and manage the flow of traffic leaving and entering the province,’’ said Mackenzie.

‘’Strategic, evidence-based deployment of our Provincial Traffic force means that there will be a zero-tolerance approach to reckless and inconsiderate driver behaviour, speeding, fatigued drivers, unroadworthy vehicles and the use of alcohol on the roads,’’ he added.

Mackenzie shared tips to make your drive safe, apart from ensuring your vehicle is roadworthy before you hit the road:

‘’I urge all road users to assist the officers and services working tirelessly to keep you safe and alive. Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy. Buckle up and secure your children appropriately, even on the shortest trip. Stick to the speed limit. Don’t drink and drive. Plan to take a rest break in a safe place every 200 km or 2 hours. Don’t allow your devices to distract you from keeping your full attention on the road. These are the simple measures that will keep you and those around you safe,’’ said Ricardo Mackenzie, Western Cape’s Mobility MEC.

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