The Western Cape storm in pictures

By Ashraf Hendricks

25 September 2023

Elzaan Debruyn carries her dog Cocoa through water in Sandvlei on the Cape Flats. Debruyn says her shack is “completely flooded”. The water is “over the window sills”. “We don’t have beds to sleep on. All our clothes are wet.” Debruyn lives in a shack with her fiancé and four children. “We have nothing”.

An unseasonal September spring storm has devastated parts of the Western Cape. Ashraf Hendricks drove around, capturing some poignant scenes with his camera.

Homes in Sandvlei were flooded when the Eersterivier burst its banks.

Shamiela Benjamin stands in her flooded home in Sandvlei. Benjamin says that she has been living in this house for 34 years. She says that her home was flooded within 30 minutes. She says that every winter there is some flooding, but “never ever has this house been from front to back flooded, and this high”.

Benjamin says that the Kramat XV, the local rugby team, helped them and others in the community move their furniture.

Benjamin is concerned about whether the structure of her decades-old home will survive the wet. But she says that she and her family will be okay. “It’s not our first rodeo.”

A bridge over the Botrivier collapsed, blocking the N2.

The blocked roads caused a huge traffic jam on the N2.

An electricity station in Somerset West was flooded.

Some roads in Somerset West were only accessible using a 4x4.

A tree collapsed in front of St Georges Cathedral in Cape Town city centre. Across the city trees collapsed, causing extensive damage.

Elzaan Debruyn and Cocoa reach dry land.