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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

‘Cape of storms’: Schools in Western Cape closed, authorities on high alert [WATCH]

The South African Weather Service (Saws) issued a level 9 warning for damaging winds and rain in many parts of the Western Cape.

As the Western Cape braces for heavy rains and winds, MEC for Education David Maynier said all schools in areas affected by severe weather conditions will be closed on Monday.

This comes after the South African Weather Service (Saws) issued a level 9 warning for damaging winds and rain in many parts of the province.

The inclement weather conditions have already wreaked havoc in the Western Cape.

Watch the roof of a house being blown off by the gale force winds

Schools closed

Maynier said schools in the Cape Winelands and Overberg education districts, as well as the Helderberg basin area, will be closed as a result of the severe storm warnings for these areas.

He said the department may also close selected schools on an ad hoc basis if damage to a school building requires this.

“Our default position is always to keep schools open but are mindful of the severity of the warnings in place, including a level 9 warning for the Overberg and southern Cape Winelands.

“We have not taken the decision to close these schools lightly: we have done so out of an abundance of caution to protect our learners and school staff. It’s always better to be safe than sorry,”  Maynier said.

Winde added the department has also already received reports from a number of schools that have been damaged by high winds.

“Our infrastructure team is currently assessing the damage. We will reevaluate the weather to determine whether any closures are necessary on Tuesday, 9 April 2024.”

ALSO READ: Weather update: Severe thunderstorm alert Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga

Cape of storms  

Meanwhile, disaster management teams are on high alert and monitoring both the Cape Winelands and Overberg, which are expected to be the most affected by the inclement weather currently lashing the province.

Winds of up to 150km/hr caused mayhem and destruction in these areas on Sunday with authorities saying windspeed at the Stellenbosch airfield measured a whopping 303km/h.

Several incidents of damage caused by strong winds, including a trailer being blown off a bridge on the N1 near the Huguenot Tunnel, have been widely shared on social media. Disaster management said scores of houses have also had their roofs ripped off.

ALSO READ: Brace yourselves for cooler weather, widespread rainfall and possible snow