Home South African One dead, 49 schools affected by recent devastating Southern Cape floods

One dead, 49 schools affected by recent devastating Southern Cape floods

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Police have opened an inquest docket after the body of a 70-year-old man was retrieved from his vehicle in Mossel Bay, along the Garden Route, which has been left devastated due to heavy rains and flooding.

A section of the road washed away at the start of the Seven Passes Road. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency

CAPE TOWN – Police have opened an inquest docket after the body of a 70-year-old man was retrieved from his vehicle in Mossel Bay, along the Garden Route, which has been left devastated due to heavy rains and flooding.

“Reports available indicate that a driver of a double-cab bakkie attempted to cross a low-water bridge when the vehicle was washed down stream.

The police’s Rural Sector manager responded and had to dive into the water, where he forced open a window to get access to the cabin of the vehicle,” police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said.

After the body was retrieved, CPR was performed, however the victim had already succumbed to possible drowning, said Pojie.

“An autopsy will be performed during the week to determine the exact cause of his death. Investigations continue.”

This was the only fatality reported thus far, he said.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond, said of the 49 schools that were affected, two rural schools, the Mooi-Uitsig Primary School and Klipdrift Primary School, remain closed on Tuesday due to access restrictions.

Mop-up operations are still under way in towns including George, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn and Knysna, which were heavily affected by the downpour.

In a statement, Eskom said the inclement weather had also affected the electricity supply of customers in some areas.

It further said the conditions would affect the restoration efforts of technical teams out in the field, and urged residents to be patient.

Newly-elected Deputy Mayor Raybin Figland, accompanied by George Chief Fire Officer Neels Barnard visited several sites around George.

“The recent rainfall caused untold damage to our water and stormwater infrastructure, and to ensure that residents have access to clean drinking water, the municipality has put in place a number of water trucks in various areas. I visited a few of these water truck points today and spoke to residents, who expressed gratitude for the extended repair efforts,” said Figland.

Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell urged travellers not to be deterred from visiting the area, but to be cautious and patient.

“The southern Cape will be ready for the holiday period and we want to reassure visitors and holidaymakers that the region is ready to welcome them over the next few weeks,” Bredell said.

Cape Times

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