Category: <span>Garden Route</span>

Severe Weather Alert: Impact Based Weather Warning for Western Cape and Namaqua

The South African Weather Service has issued the following Impact Based Severe Weather Forecast:

HAZARD: DISRUPTIVE RAIN

Alert Level: Yellow (L2)

Affected Municipalities: Bitou, George, Knysna and Mossel Bay.

Valid From (SAST): 09/10/20 00h00

Valid To (SAST): 09/10/20 00h00

Discussion: Rain is expected along the south coast and adjacent interior from Thursday into Saturday (08-10/10/2020) with rainfall accumulations of 5 to 15mm reaching 20 to 40mm over the eastern parts of the south coast. Due to recent rain in the area and more rain forecasted for Thursday into Saturday morning, there is a possibility of localised flooding to susceptible areas between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay on Friday.

Impact: Localised flooding of susceptible informal settlements.  Minor motor vehicle accidents due to slippery roads and reduced visibility increasing travelling times.  Minor motor vehicle accidents due to slippery roads and reduced visibility increasing travelling times.

Instruction: If possible stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped in a vehicle during a flood, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level. Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building. In rural areas protect/relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground. Abandon your home immediately if evacuation is recommended before access is cut off by floodwater. NEVER drive on a road covered by water. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any severe weather related incidents to the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at telephone number 044 805 5071.

MEDIA ALERT: Power Town residents and Sonskynvallei Backyard Dwellers in Mossel Bay To Become Homeowners

01 October 2020

RELEASE: IMMEDIATE

 Power Town residents and Sonskynvallei Backyard Dwellers in Mossel Bay To Become Homeowners

Tomorrow, 02 October 2020, Minister Tertuis Simmers will hand over the first 5 completed houses of the Sonskynvallei Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP) phase 3 housing project in Mossel Bay. Sixty-seven (67) year old Mr Piet Kammies will be one of the 5 beneficiaries that will receive their new homes.

The Sonskynvallei housing project phase 3 consists of 96 Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses and 616 serviced sites with the budget of R 35 400 540.00. Phase 1 consists of upgrading of existing 210 houses and phase 2 consists of 152 houses. A total of 105 beneficiaries from Power Town and 47 beneficiaries from Sonskynvallei backyard dwellers have already been relocated to the 152 houses of phase 2.

Phase 3 of this project is expected to be completed by November 2020. It will accommodate beneficiaries from Power Town which is situated in an area of flood plain and the Sonskynvallei backyard dwellers who have been waiting for a long time for a housing opportunity with the Mossel Bay Municipality.

All media is invited

Details are as follow:

Date: Friday, 02 October 2020

Venue: Sonskynvallei Community Hall, Mossel Bay

Time: 10h00 – 11h30

For media enquiries contact:

Mr Marcellino Martin

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

Tel: 021 483 3397

Cell: 082 721 3362

Mr Nathan Adriaanse

Director: Communication and Stakeholder Relations

Tel: 021 483 2868

Cell: 083 263 1720

News Release: GRDM nominated as an ECO-LOGIC AWARDS finalist

News Release

15 September 2020

For immediate release

GRDM nominated as an ECO-LOGIC AWARDS finalist

It is with great pride that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) wishes to announce that the Municipality was nominated as a finalist for the 2020 Eco-logic Awards under the “District Municipality” category which will take place virtually on Monday, 21 September 2020. This day coincides with World Peace Day.

The Eco-logic Awards, hosted by Enviropaedia are annually awarded across 12 categories, which highlight ecologically beneficial products, services and people who are taking effective action and making a positive contribution to protect and preserve the environment. GRDM is one of three finalists chosen under the “District Municipality Award” category, for its initiative “Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) – Ensuring Participative and Collaborative District-Wide Environmental Monitoring, Coordination and Adaptation”.

GREF was launched in 2018 and is led by the GRDM’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaption Section.  Its key aim is to establish a more coordinated approach to environmental management. The purpose of the GREF initiative is to ensure adaptive environmental management through the principles of community and stakeholder participation, collaboration, as well as the combined coordination of projects, programmes and initiatives within the district.  The initiative furthermore strives to increase engagement and knowledge for better decision making, the initiation of pro-active risk planning within an uncertain future, and to increase resource sharing for focused and dynamic environmental actions.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum focuses on fundraising through the preparation of professional funding proposals and related administration.  This is achieved through participative, collaborative, and adaptive district-wide projects, programmes or initiative monitoring and implementation. Through these interventions that aim to change the nature of our economy, and improved sustainable environment is possible.

Western Cape Weather Alert

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following weather alert.

Hazard: Snow
Alert level: Watch
Valid from (SAST): 17/08/20 – 23h00
Valid to (SAST): 18/08/20 – 00h00

Disruptive snowfalls are expected over the high lying areas of Cape Winelands, Central Karoo and Garden Route Districts overnight tomorrow (17/08/2020) into Tuesday morning.

Hazard: High Seas
Alert level: Watch
Valid from (SAST): 17/08/20 – 20h00
Valid to (SAST): 18/08/20 – 00h00

High seas with wave heights between 6-9m are expected between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas tomorrow (17/08/2020) evening, spreading to Plettenberg Bay and Cape Columbine from early Tuesday morning, subsiding west of Cape Agulhas from Tuesday afternoon.

Hazard: Heavy rain
Alert level: Watch
Valid from (SAST): 18/08/20 – 00h00
Valid to (SAST): 18/08/20 – 00h00

Expected in places along the Garden Route coastal areas early Tuesday (18/08/2020) morning.

Hazard: Damaging Winds
Alert level: Warning
Valid from (SAST): 17/08/20 – 11h00
Valid to (SAST): 18/08/20 – 00h00

Warning: A gale force (62-80km/h) W/NW wind is expected between Table Bay and Cape Agulhas from late tomorrow (17/08/2020) morning, becoming SW and spreading to Plettenberg Bay by the evening, easing from Tuesday morning. Advisory: Strong winds (50-62km/h are expected over Cape Metropole and Overberg areas tomorrow afternoon into Tuesday morning.

MEDIA RELEASE/ARTICLE: Recovery of indigenous vegetation following the 2017 wildfire disaster remarkable, but regrowth of invasive alien plants on a large scale a reason for concern

5 June 2020

On the eve of the commemoration of the 2017 wildfire disaster which ripped through Knysna and Plettenberg Bay like a blow torch, Cobus Meiring, on behalf of the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) and the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF), asked Knysna Municipality’s Environmental Manager, Pam Booth, about her thoughts on the environmental recovery of the natural environment of the surrounding towns.

Says Booth, “The natural surrounds of both Knysna and Plettenberg Bay reflect what is true of most of the Southern Cape landscape, and that is the sad fact that it is severely affected by invasive alien plants.”

“It is common knowledge that the prevalence of impressive densities of invasive alien plants provided the biofuel that turned the wildfire into the inferno it became, generating heat so incomprehensible that everything in the path of the fires was obliterated.”

Continues Booth, “At the time, there were justified fears that, given the intense heat which the wildfire exerted on the landscape, that the indigenous seed bank in the ground, which would allow Fynbos species such as Proteas and Ericas to recover, was so badly affected that they will never recover, allowing even more of the beautiful landscape to become infested with invasive alien plants over time.”

“One such example was the invaluable terrain that is harbouring the unique set of plants sustaining the world-famous and endemic Brenton Blue butterfly. As confirmed now, the Brenton Blue is safe and sound, and much is being done by Brenton locals to ensure that invasive alien plants do not encroach on the town, giving indigenous vegetation a chance to recover, whilst reducing fire risk and creating jobs at the same time.”

“Fortunately, the plant species counted in the Southern Cape and Garden Route Fynbos Biome is a hardy species, which by nature are dependent on fire for survival and rejuvenation. Even as conservationists feared for the worst, the Fynbos came back, and after two seasons of favourable rainfall, the hills around Knysna and Brenton are alive with wildflowers of all kinds already standing two meters tall in places,” says Booth.

Regrowth of invasive alien plants poses a threat

According to Booth, the regrowth of invasive alien plants is a matter of great concern.

“It is true that in a great many places where invasive alien plants were present in numbers before the fire, they also grew back with a vengeance. This is a matter of great concern to all, as that may well set the scene for a repeat of the 2017 disaster in the coming years. Government is coming down hard on landowners who defies the laws governing the prevalence of invasive alien plants on their land, and already a number of landowners have received pre-directives and directives to either clear their land or face the court and the penalties associated.”

“Efforts by entities such as the Table Mountain Fund, WWF SA and the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) to empower and assist landowners to deal with the regrowth of invasive alien plants did make an impact, and private land bordering river systems such as the Knysna and Goukamma today is in a better state of invasive alien plant infestation than before the wildfire disaster.”

The Garden Route, including Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, is a jewel in South Africa’s crown of scenic tourist destinations. Thousands of jobs and the socio-economic survival of the area are dependent on its natural surrounds.

“Not only is it based on this premise that we implore landowners to manage invasive plants on their land, but also for the sake of biodiversity conservation which is also facing the impact of a changing climate and an ever-increasing human and development footprint,” says Booth.

*Sunday 7 June marks the commemoration of the 2017 Knysna wildfire disaster.

Photo: Fynbos in Brenton

Despite fears that the intensity of the 2017 wildfire disaster destroyed the underground seed bank of indigenous vegetation, Fynbos has made a remarkable recovery in the Garden Route. (Photo: SCLI)

** The Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) is a public platform and think tank for landowners and land managers with an interest in invasive alien plant management, water stewardship and land management. SCLI is supported by the Table Mountain Fund (TMF), a subsidiary of WWF SA. SCLI also manages the Secretariat of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

 MEDIA ENQUIRIES

  1. Pam Booth:Manager, Environmental Manager, Knysna Municipality

Cell: 082 875 0342 / 079 208 7855

Email: pbooth@knysna.gov.za

  1. Cobus Meiring:Chairperson of the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI) and Chair of the Garden Route Environmental Forum

Cell: 083 626 7619 / Email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

Severe Weather Alert

The South African Weather Services has issued the following severe weather alert:

Hazard: Storm surges
Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 25/05/20 10h00
Valid To (SAST): 26/05/20 00h00

Storm surge is expected along the south coast, between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay as well as in the False Bay region tomorrow (25/05/2020).

Description: Storm surges

Generally storm surges are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storms and/or tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

Precautions: Storm surges

All recreational beach activities should be suspended. People with beach side properties should be aware of the possibility of being flooded by a rise in sea level and wave surges that could cause damage to their property.

If possible relocate valuable assets to higher ground and be vigilant especially during high tide. If the surge is associated with a Spring High Tide then significant inundation is possible and one should be aware of the times of occurrence of the High tide.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.
Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Western Cape – Severe Weather Alert

24 May 2020

Western Cape – Severe Weather Alert

The Western Cape Disaster Management Centre has been alerted by the South African Weather Service that severe adverse weather conditions are expected across large parts of the Western Cape starting late this evening.

Members of the public are advised that heavy rain and localised flooding can be expected in the following regions:

–  The City of Cape Town,

–  Overberg

–  Cape Winelands

In addition the SAWS has advised that disruptive snowfalls leading to temporary closure of mountain passes can be expected in the Cape Winelands District on Monday evening, spreading to the Little Karoo mountains overnight into Tuesday.

The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell says the predictions indicate that winter has arrived in the Western Cape.

“While we welcome the wet weather given our drought situation, the concern is that the conditions may cause further challenges during this time of lockdown. We want to urge the public to take extra precautions and to contact the emergency services in the event of any emergency.”

The SAWS further predicts gale force winds and high seas with wave heights up to 9m between Cape Columbine and Plettenberg Bay from Monday morning, subsiding by early Tuesday morning. The winds are expected to move into the Central Karoo region by Tuesday.

“Provincial as well as Municipal Disaster Management Centres are already activated for the ongoing COVID-19 situation and will remain fully operational. The easiest number to remember to call in an emergency is 112. This number can be dialled toll-free from any cell phone. We are also calling on communities to cooperate with local authorities and emergency response personnel in the event of any emergency.”

In case of emergency other relevant numbers to call are:

Cape Winelands Municipality                               021 888 5837

Garden Route 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

Flooding related Tip Sheet

How Can I Prepare for a Flood?

–  Identify the risk in your local area.

–  Prepare a home emergency plan, and identify risks around your home.

–  Remove leaves (from downpipes or gutters) or any other items that can increase the risk of flooding in your area.

–  Have an evacuation plan. Everyone in your family has to know where to go to find shelter.

–  Prepare an emergency toolkit. This should include a first aid kit, torch and portable radio with batteries, candles and waterproof matches, drinking water, a multi-tool, whistle and emergency contact numbers.

What Should I do during a flooding?

–  Monitor current flood warnings. Listen to the radio for emergency warnings, evacuation advice and weather updates.

–  Avoid entering floodwater unless it is necessary, and never underestimate the strength of floodwater, even if you are inside a vehicle.

–   Follow all instructions from emergency authorities.

–  Turn off all electricity and water and take your cellphone with you.

–  Assist elderly and disabled neighbours.

What Should I do after the flood?

–  Before entering your house, wait until the water has dropped below floor level.

–  Check with electricity and water authorities to know whether it is safe for you to use these resources.

–  Be aware of contamination if water sources have been flooded; this could be unsafe to drink.

Further tips provided by the SAWS:

–  (When moving around outdoors) dress in warm brightly coloured wet weather clothing.

–  If caught unawares by strong wind, barricade windows with wooded panels or strips (or furniture if needs be).

–  If ordered to evacuate do so immediately and in an orderly fashion. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

ENDS.

Media enquiries:

James-Brent Styan

Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell

Mobile:  084 583 1670 / Telephone: 021 483 2820 / E-mail:  James-Brent.Styan@westerncape.gov.za

Severe Weather Alert

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following severe weather alert:

Hazard: Snow
Alert Level: Advisory
Valid From (SAST):25/05/2020 – 00h00
Valid To (SAST): 25/05/2020 – 00h00

Is expected over high-lying areas of the Western Cape province on Monday (25/05/2020).

Hazard: High Seas
Alert Level: Advisory
Valid From:25/05/2020 – 00h00
Valid To (SAST): 25/05/2020 – 00h00

High seas with wave heights of 6.0-7.0m are expected between Alexander Bay and Plettenberg Bay on Monday (25/05/2020).

Descriptions: Snow

Snow is precipitation in the form of flakes of crystalline water ice that fall from clouds. Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material.

Precautions: Snow

If driving decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop, you should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.  Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

For more information or to report incidents, contact the Garden Route Disaster Management Centre at 044-805 5071.

Garden Route Business Impact and Continuity Survey March 2020

Recently our lives and specifically our businesses have been affected and disrupted by droughts, crime, energy issues / load shedding and now the Corona COVID -19 virus.

We wish to gather information from you as business owners and leaders as to the impact the disruptions are having on your business. Hence the survey is designed to gather a high-level insight into the impact on businesses and measures taken to ensure sustainable business operations. Read more…

Please click on the link below to complete the survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BusinessImpactSurveyMar2020

The survey consists of 12 questions and should not take you more than 10 minutes to complete.