The South African Local Government Association’s (SALGA) Working Group on Emergency and Disaster Management visited Hermanus on 16 November 2023 to learn how the Overstrand Municipality handled the aftermath of the level 9 storm of 24 September.
Overstrand Executive Mayor, Dr Annelie Rabie, said it is indeed a great honour for Overstrand Municipality to share best practice on a national level as climate change is a reality and will contribute to more frequent disaster events.
“Municipalities must be tenacious as our infrastructure were not necessarily designed to withstand the effects of extraordinary weather events,” she said.
Overstrand Municipal Manager, Dean O’Neill, summarised the lessons learnt and gave an update on the progress made on the water and sewerage infrastructure that was severely damaged. He also shared insights on how the Municipality managed the water supply interruption; some communities were without water for five days.
After the presentation, Mayor Rabie and her Mayco members took the working group on a site visit to ‘see for themselves’ what utter devastation the storm caused at the De Bos dam and water pipe as well as the Hemel-en-Aarde road. They also visited the Onrus Beach and the section of the Bosplasie sewerage pipeline that was damaged during the storm.