W Cape braced for huge storm
THE Western Cape is braced for a ferocious storm that is expected to cause havoc across the province.
Schools and universities were closed and motorists warned to stay off the roads.
Brian Schreuder, head of the Western Cape Education Department, said its primary concern was for the safety of pupils and staff.
Weather forecasters predict winds up to 90km/h with rainfall of more than 50mm over 24 hours in the Winelands, Cape Metropole and Overberg. High seas with swells reaching up to 12m are also expected.
A special provincial cabinet meeting was held yesterday to discuss the closure of schools. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town have all suspended classes.
Metrorail has placed staff on 24-hour alert and activated a support-and-emergency service.
Airports Company South Africa has also activated contingency plans. No flights have been cancelled but passengers are advised to stay in touch with their respective airlines.
Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce, said outdoor businesses may not be able to operate.
Hotels and hospitality businesses have warned guests to take the necessary precautions. The Lagoon Beach Hotel in Milnerton asked its patrons to remain indoors.
In a letter addressed to guests: “We urge everyone to stay inside for their own safety and make double-sure of any transport arrangements, as it will most likely affect roads and transport services. A large portion of our staff live in rural areas, which may be affected the worst by stormy weather, more so than other areas.
“Hence, there might be a slight delay in service during the day.” – Additional reporting by Marvin Charles