Winter storm warning | Western Cape Government

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Winter storm warning

5 May 2021

The Western Cape is gearing up for a major winter storm, expected to make landfall this afternoon and continuing through the night.

The South African Weather Services state significant rainfall can be expected for the Overberg and Garden Route districts with rainfall reaching up to 45mm in some areas.

The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell says the rain is expected to lead to flooding of informal settlements and roads in the affected areas.

“The Weather Services warns further that wind gusts of up to 70km/h can be expected along the south-west coast with wave heights up to 5.5 meters along the coast of the province and including the City of Cape Town.”

Bredell says the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre (WCDMC) has several contingency plans in place to keep the public as safe as possible.

“All thirty municipalities in the province are prepared for the coming winter. Our municipalities have standard operating procedures and contingency plans in place to address incidents in their areas. These plans include emergency response, providing relief and arranging temporary shelter for affected communities if needed. All disaster centres remain on standby.”

“In the affected areas, if possible, people are urged to stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles and in the event of any emergency, please contact the emergency services immediately. The easiest number to remember is 112. This is a tollfree number and can be dialled from any cell phone.”

Additional regional numbers for reporting emergencies in the Western Cape:

  • City of Cape Town - 107 or 021 480 7700 and 080 911 4357
  • Overberg - 028 425 1690
  • West Coast - 022 433 8700
  • Garden Route - 044 805 5071
  • Central Karoo – 023 449 8000
  • Cape Winelands – 021 886 9244 / 021 887 4446

Bad weather related tip sheet


How can I prepare for bad weather events?

  • Identify the risks in your local area.
  • Report blocked drains and service disruptions promptly
  • Prepare a home emergency plan and identify risks around your home.
  • Make sure cell phones are charged before going to bed.
  • Remove leaves and debris (from downpipes or gutters or street gullies) or any other items that can increase the risk of flooding in your area.
  • Have an evacuation plan. Everyone in your family should know where to go to find shelter.
  • Prepare an emergency toolkit. This may include items such as candles and matches, drinking water, a multi-tool, whistle and a list of 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 cell phone with you.
  • Assist elderly and disabled neighbours where possible.
  • Contact the authorities as soon as possible.

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 winter weather tips:


  • (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).
  • When hiking or camping check on conditions before going and inform relatives or friends of your location.
  • 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. 
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