Storm damages 29 schools in Western Cape region

The South African Weather Service has forecasted the next cold front to make landfall on Tuesday by bringing it between 10mm and 20mm of rain over the western parts of the province and between 40mm and 60mm over the south-western mountains.

Representative image of the damaged school in Western Cape region of Cape Town
Representative image of the damaged school in Western Cape region of Cape Town

Cape Town: Heavy winds and rainfall in Cape Town have damaged approximately 29 schools in the Western Cape region. The storm also blew away the roofs of three schools located on the West Coast.

Spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Department – Bronagh Hammond said that the department team is assessing the damage and is in contact with the schools to determine their needs and make arrangements for the continued teachings and learnings.

Hammond confirmed that despite the damage, the schools would open as planned on Tuesday for the start of the third term. She noted that the department had consulted with the South African Weather Service (SAWS) and the provincial Disaster Management Committee as by then all schools would be open.

The requests for the closure due to road inaccessibility may be considered for individual schools which is dependent on the extent of the overnight rainfall damage.

The South African Weather Service has forecasted the next cold front to make landfall on Tuesday by bringing it between 10mm and 20mm of rain over the western parts of the province and between 40mm and 60mm over the south-western mountains.

Reportedly, various parts of Western Cape Province of South Africa were hit by heavy rains from Sunday to Monday, leaving many people homeless and caused widespread disruptions and damages.

Senior Official of the Provincial Government for Environmental Affairs and Development Planning – Anton Bredell stated that the widespread disruptions and damages included loss of shelter in informal settlements, localized flooding, fallen trees, electricity outages and road closures due to snow or flooding which were reported during the meeting.

The Significant rainfall was recorded in various towns of the Western Cape including Ceres that received some 123mm of rainfall and Elgin Grabouw which received 84mm.

Bredell added further to his statement that the provincial Department of Education said that heavy rains and strong winds have caused damage to 29 schools in the province.

However, the authorities are still monitoring the situation as local media reported that the heavy rains have displaced over 4,000 families. The provincial government and the national Department of Human Settlements are working together to assist those who have lost homes as a series of cold fronts which are still on track to land and resulted in a week of wet and cold conditions, said Bredell.