Robin Carlisle, the MEC for Transport and Public Works in theWestern Capetoday announced that traffic in the Eden District Municipalityis almost completely back to normal, after the worst flood damage toWestern Cape roads since 2007.
I am happy to announce that traffic inEdenis back to normal, except at the two construction sites on the N12 between Oudtshoorn and George and the N9 Outeniqua Pass, where the road is open to single lane traffic in both directions.
The N12 was closed after several hundred tons of red sandstone collapsed onto it in a cutting about 10 kilometres from Oudtshoorn on 29 July, effectively isolating the popular tourist destination off from George. TheOuteniquaPass, meanwhile, was closed on 26 August after heavy rock falls.
The closure of theOuteniquaPasshad a knock-on effect on theMontaguPass, where traffic needed to be carefully controlled due to heavy traffic diverted from the pass. Traffic on theMontaguPassis also back to normal.
This year’s flood damage to the province’s roads has already reached a total of around R150 million.
The main culprit was the unseasonable, heavy June rains in theEdenDistrictMunicipality, which have resulted in R114 million worth of damage to our roads.
The June floods also caused damage to roads in theCapeWinelandsandCentral Karoo, to the tune of R13 million and R2 million respectively.
Edenhas been hardest hit over the past 5 years, but this is the first time since June 2006 (R30 million rand damage) that the floods have come in winter. Floods usually affect Eden in November as in 2007, which, with road damage in Eden, the Cape Winelands, the Overberg and on the West Coast reaching R410 million, was the worst in the past half-decade.
In November 2008 floods caused R110 million damage, while theWestern Capewas flood-free in 2009 and 2010.
Most of the money we are spending this year will once again be used to repair roads and bridges near or over rivers. Many of these rivers are usually a trickle or have limited flows.
Often after heavy rain a flood surge brings destructive debris with it. Logs and branches slam into the culverts and bridges, eventually blocking the flow of the water, then taking out the approaches, or even the surrounding fields.