No new housing developments under 1:50 year flood line approved | Infrastructure news

In media coverage and social media conversations about the recent heavy rainfall and floods that hit parts of the Western Cape, the question was asked what caused these floods and the resultant millions of rands’ damage and disruption – not only for residents and businesses, but also for agricultural producers and their crops.

Drakenstein Municipality has noted, with concern, that in the Drakenstein area, a finger was being pointed at so-called “poorly planned” developments, and/or an “inadequate” municipal stormwater system.

“Firstly, the Municipality wants to make it clear that we do not approve any housing developments under the 1:50 year flood line, due to the risk involved,” emphasised Alderman Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality.

“The Municipality requires that a detailed flood line study be undertaken by a professional consultant with regards to all new developments situated along water courses.”

During the establishment of the Val de Vie Estate, Drakenstein’s most prestigious lifestyle estate, these are exactly the steps that were taken.

“As a result, only two out of 2 200 houses in the lifestyle estate had to be evacuated and this was due to blocked gutters or stormwater pipes caused by construction crews in the vicinity of the houses. Most of the estate’s farmland and paddocks are below the 100- and 50-year flood lines and this is mostly what was under water in the images that circulated in the media,” Ryk Neethling, Brand & Marketing Director, Val de Vie Group, confirmed.

Drakenstein Municipality can assure residents, businesses, as well as potential investors and developers that all building plan applications are subjected to strict approval processes. Any plan that does not meet the Municipality’s stringent requirements, will be rejected.

Secondly, the Municipality can guarantee the Drakenstein community that the municipal stormwater system has been precisely designed, is cleaned regularly, and is well maintained.

The public’s constant illegal dumping and littering in stormwater drains does however occasionally block the system and prevents it from successfully draining and taking away run-off stormwater.

“That is why we urge communities to play their part, and refrain from dumping illegally and littering in stormwater drains. We also call on residents to clear the gutters and downpipes of their homes from leaves and debris – to assist the flow of stormwater and to prevent obstructions and flooding. It is imperative to check that drains are open to avoid objects from blocking the flow of water from properties,” said Alderman Poole.

The Municipality continues its proactive efforts to remove illegal dumping, litter and any other possible obstructions that could block the flow of stormwater and exacerbate flooding.

The excessive water levels of the Berg River and the release of large volumes of water from dams contributed significantly to the recent floods.

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