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Disaster Management assess damage

WC Disaster Management will assess damage caused by weather over the weekend.

Heavy rains flooded roads across Cape Town, July 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Disaster Management will on Monday assess damages caused after a weekend of heavy rain.

The passing cold front caused havoc to inland towns, as snowfall forced officials to shut the N1 highway.

Downpours caused flooding in Mfuleni and Sir Lowry's pass village informal settlements

Disaster Management's Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said they will be providing food and blankets to people in affected areas.

"We are on high alert and will be ready to deal with any eventuality, whether it be flooding, or assisting people who lost their homes as a result of the floods."

Solomons-Johannes said teams would be prepared to react to any reports of flooding or residents who require assistance.

Meanwhile, the South African Social Security Agency said it will be spending more than R100 million on disaster relief.

So far, the agency has spent R1 million rand on the Western Cape alone, during the winter period.

Disaster services were on high alert, after 200 people were displaced when a fire broke out in Hout Bay on Sunday.

An estimated 50 shacks were destroyed and one man died in the Mandela Park informal settlement.

The agency's Virginia Petersen visited the area on Sunday.

She said if more money is needed to help, the National Treasury might intervene.

"Our Social Relief of Distress budget is in the region of a R150 million. But if there is a disaster that is unforeseen, we are able to go to treasury at any time, if we feel that more is required."

She said the organisation plays an oversight role in disaster relief management.

Currently, support is managed through the Disaster Centre, managed by the city. However, they have to liaise with us about spending more money to support communities in distress."

Meanwhile, various Western Cape roads have also been closed due to bad weather.

The N1 and alternative routes between Cape Town Johannesburg were closed for most of Sunday due to heavy snow fall.