As winter storms continue to batter the Western Cape, more than 5,000 illegal structures have been affected in Cape Town and an estimated 6,300 people as conditions are expected to worsen in the coming days.
The city on Tuesday released a statement saying that its assessment found the majority of the flooded areas are situated on land that is not suitable for habitation such as like wetlands, waterlogged areas and private land which have been unlawfully occupied.
It said there were no reasonable engineering flood mitigation measures that could be successfully implemented in these areas due to the flood-prone nature of the land.
It said assessments continued and the city would help wherever it is possible to do so.
“More than 70% of the newly occupied areas, mostly as a result of organised large-scale unlawful occupation since the start of the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, have been created on unsuitable, flood-prone land, dams and water retention ponds,” the statement said.
“The city has been communicating that it expects quite a high number of flooding incidents this year due to the spike in unlawful occupations that have occurred.”
“The worst affected region at present is the city of Cape Town,” said Anton Bredell, provincial MEC for local government, environmental affairs and development planning.
Bredell said that a large amount of rain had been measured across the Wstern Cape already including 71mm in Geelbek on the West Coast and 55mm in Ceres.
“Lots of rain has fallen and continues to fall in the metro area. The city of Cape Town and its partners are already rolling out support to affected communities. This includes providing hot meals and blankets to affected communities.”