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

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