South Africa – Deadly Floods Hit Eastern Cape

Torrential rain caused flash flooding in parts of the Eastern Cape in South Africa on 23 March 2023. In a recent statement, local authorities report at least 3 people lost their lives and one is reported missing.

Flood damage in O.R. Tambo District Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa, March 2023. Photo: O.R. Tambo District Municipality

South Africa’s Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) reported heavy rainfall and flooding in Mnquma, Mbashe, King Sabatha Dalindyebo, Nyandeni, Port St Johns, Ingquza and Mbizana municipal areas of Eastern Cape Province on 23 March 2023. COGTA said the floods and rainfall are endangering the lives of communities and placing them at risk. Homes, businesses, and public infrastructure were damaged.

Flood damage, Eastern Cape, O.R. Tambo District Municipality

In a statement of 25 March, the O.R. Tambo District Municipality Acting Executive Mayor, Councillor Thokozile Sokanyile, said a preliminary report indicates that three local municipalities have been seriously affected by the floods, namely Ingquza Hill, King Sabata Dalindyebo with Port St John’s being the worst affected. In Port St Johns, as many as 10 bridges have been washed away making it difficult for the members of the community to access schools and nearby facilities.

Two people lost their lives after being swept away by floods in Lusikisiki at Ingquza Hill Local Municipality. Police divers were continuing the search for one person still missing. Councillor Thokozile Sokanyile added that a third fatality occurred in the Coffee Bay area in King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality.