The death toll from wet and icy weather in the Western Cape has risen to at least three, it was reported on Friday.
In the latest incident, 53-year-old Ronnie Hope died in Hout Bay when a cave he and his partner had been sleeping in collapsed as a result of heavy rain. City of Cape Town disaster risk management said four homeless people were in the cave behind the Chapman’s Peak Hotel in Hout Bay when it caved in at about 23:00 on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, an elderly homeless man died in Kuils River and on Thursday the man who had been huddled under wet cardboard with him died in hospital.
City authorities are running relief centres in the rainy city where thousands of people have been affected by the weather.
“The bad and adverse weather that has hit the Western Cape has left more than 10 000 people in discomfort,” the city’s disaster and risk management spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said on Friday.
The heavy rain and cold temperatures were predicted to continue into the weekend.
“The heavy downpour is exacerbated by cold and wet conditions… there is another low [pressure] frontal system expected to pass through tomorrow [Saturday].”
Solomons-Johannes said areas hardest hit by the adverse conditions were Philippi, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Lwandle, and Somerset West.
“The Cape Flats area is the most affected. We have been running a relief centre, handing out blankets and food.”
On Wednesday, a cold front set in, bringing very cold and wet conditions accompanied by gale-force north-westerly winds between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas.
Solomons-Johannes said rivers were expected to burst their banks because of the downpour and urged residents in close proximity to be cautious.