Floods leave Bonteheuwel businesses high and dry

A flooded Bonteheuwel Avenue caused by the heavy rainfall last week.

The Bonteheuwel canal along the N2 flooded during heavy rains last week, swamping nearby roads and homes and leaving many business owners out of pocket.

Ismail Badroodien, the owner of Settlers Butcher in Bonteheuwel Avenue, said he had had no customers for two days because flooding had made roads around his business inaccessible.

“The roads are still flooded; it is bad,” he said. “This is what always happens when it rains, the drains get blocked. No one can come this way, it is such an inconvenience.

“The back streets are also flooded; this is not the only road. Many drivers damaged their cars trying to drive through the flood; their bumpers even got lose. We had to help some drivers who got stuck here in front. It is very frustrating because we go through this every year, but what can we do?”

His brother, Munsoor Badroodien, who owns the shop next to his, Settlers Gas and Hardware, said the shop was open but customers had stayed home as taxis and buses couldn’t get through the road.

“I’ve been here for about 40 years, and every winter this happens. I’ve logged a complaint to the City, but no one came out. I don’t think the City has done anything despite their winter-readiness project. We have commitments, rent and things to pay, but how can we do that if we have no business? It’s really such a challenge.”

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie walking through a flooded Soetdooring Street.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie, said the flooding of the canal had caused widespread damage to property and goods. Frequent dumping had caused sewers and stormwater drains to block, aggravating the problem.

“Disaster risk management, as well as sewerage and stormwater officials, are on site, assisting by cleaning drains and supporting families dealing with flooding. We have been on the ground since 2am and will continue to support residents as best we can during this hugely unprecedented rainfall currently sweeping across the Cape,” he said.