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Important severe weather warning – cabinet confirms instruction for one day closure of all schools tomorrow

An extraordinary meeting of the Western Cape Cabinet was held this morning regarding the incoming storm.

Provincial Disaster Management and the South African Weather Service briefed cabinet on the possible impact of the severe weather.

At this stage, current weather forecast methodology predicts:

  • High winds of up to 90km per hour or higher are possible in some areas;
  • Rains of up to 50mm or more over a 24 hour period across various areas;
  • Very high seas are expected with swells reaching up to 10 – 12m.

Disaster Management is required to prepare for the worst and ensure that all the necessary precautions and operational plans are in place.

While our rescue agencies are well equipped and prepared to handle disasters, we strongly advise members of the public to stay off the roads and remain indoors. It is imperative that all measures are taken to avoid any harm or possible loss of life.

The work of the emergency rescue services will also be made easier if the roads are clear of unnecessary traffic.

We therefore urge members of the public to refrain from using the roads for non-essential purposes, starting from later tonight (Tuesday 6 June) and tomorrow (Wednesday 7 June 2017).

Cabinet supports the decision by the Western Cape Education Head of Department, Mr Brian Schreuder to close all schools in the province for one day on Wednesday (tomorrow).

The Department of Education has communicated with schools, across the province. This decision has been taken in the interests of the safety of our learners across the province.

These are extraordinary circumstances, which require the serious attention and consideration of everyone.

The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre has taken extensive measures to prepare for the worst possible conditions – while assisted by various emergency service agencies.

This includes:

  • The Provincial Disaster Management Operations Centre is fully activated to monitor and coordinate responses
  • This centre is linked in to City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Team, the SAPS joint operations centre, Provincial Traffic, NSRI and Health Emergency Centres
  • Our specialised technical rescue team is on standby to carry out any water related rescues
  • We have an open line with the South African Defence Force command post in Pretoria should additional aircraft be required for search & rescue
  • The Department of Water & Sanitation are monitoring rivers and will provide updates on potential flooding

Members of the public are urged to pay regular attention to the various official Western Cape Government communication channels for updates throughout the 48 hour period. These include:

We will also be working closely with radio and television stations to provide official updates.

In case of emergencies, we encourage people to report any incidents on 112 or 10177. We further urge members of the public to desist from sending out any unauthorised communication. This could cause confusion and raise unnecessary panic.

The emergency numbers for each district are as follows:

Cape Winelands: Langeberg Municipality:  0860 88 1111

Eden District:  044 805 5071

Central Karoo:  023 414 2603

West Coast:  022 433 8700

Overberg:  028 271 8111

City of Cape Town:  107 landline or 021 480 7700

Under these extraordinary circumstances, Disaster Management are preparing for the worst, as they are required to do.  In this instance, we err on the side of caution to ensure all necessary preparations are in place.