Ricochet News

George Municipality takes stock of the devastation left by fires

Jun 12, 2017
George Municipality takes stock of the devastation left by fires

The George Municipality held a debriefing meeting on Monday morning to review the effects and implications of the storms which killed three people in the George area and wreaked havoc across the municipal area and surrounds since Wednesday.

George Municipality Executive Mayor Alderman Melvin Naik said the municipality was saddened by the lives lost in the George region, as well as the seven people in the Knysna fires, and extended condolences to the families and affected persons. “It was a tragic and frightening time.”

Ald Naik, who spent much of the past week visiting storm-affected areas, said he had no words to describe his admiration of and pride in the municipal officials across several departments who have been working relentlessly to manage the countless impacts of the storm for many days on end.

“I saw the circumstances under which our people had to work – many of our staff risked their lives this past week, but they were committed to keeping our people safe, and restoring services as quickly as possible. We also had staff assist in Knysna, Sedgefield and Plettenberg Bay. Gold and silver cannot pay what our men and women did for our extended community,” said Ald Naik.

Below follows a list of recorded impacts on the George Municipal area since the early hours of Wednesday morning until the meeting at 9am this morning:


George is still currently experiencing power outages due to lines on the ground in the following areas:

  • Wilderness (Clairewood and Seven Passes)
  • Hoekwil
  • Modder River (Blackwood Farm)
  • Herolds Bay – Colnera
  • Victoria Bay – Blackwood Line
  • Saasveld
  • Thembalethu Farm School, Hansmoeskraal, Seeplasie and Gwaing – De Swardt Line

For electricity complaints please contact 044 8019222 during work hours and 044 801 6300 after hours. Please note once a complaint has been made it is logged and will be dealt with as quickly as possible.


One fatality reported in Silvertown on Saturday 10th June and 2 fatalities reported in Herold, Sunday 11th June following informal structures that burnt down. The George Fire Brigade are working on mopping up in the George area. The George teams were withdrawn from Knysna on Saturday evening . They were joined by a team of 10 firefighters from Pretoria yesterday to focus on extinguishing or removing any burning material near fires. The Fire Brigade has worked on a total of 40 veldfires , 8 house fires and removed 34 fallen trees.

A team of 40 staff falling under Parks and Recreation Division have been in action since Sunday with the methodical clearing of streets with regards to broken branches and other debris. The public are requested to assist where possible with this task.


  • 456 complaints were received of informal and formal structures that were damaged in the following areas Touwsranten, Wilderness, Kleinkrantz, Rosedale, Pacaltsdorp, Silvertown, Thembalethu, New Dawn Park, Conville, Borchards, Syferfontein, Parkdene, Protea Park
  • 320 pieces of gunplas have been supplied
  • Structures have been rebuilt as follows:
    1  x Syferfontein; 1 x Rosedale; 1  x Ramaphosa; 2 x Borchards
  • Roofs have been restored as follows:
    1 x Blanco, 3 x Thembalethu, 3 x  New Dawn Park
  • Currently 18 people are accommodated at Gateway Lodge and 25 people have been moved from Blanco Community Hall to the VGK Blanco.


  • New Dawn Park Hall destroyed by winds
  • Licence Department  - window broken and roof tiles blown off
  • Conville Swimming Pool – Wall blown over
  • Rosemore Sportgrounds – Wall blown over, roof tiles blown off
  • Gwaing Sewerage Works – damage to pump station

George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha expressed his heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for municipal officials’ selfless efforts to secure and contain the city.  He also thanked volunteers and residents for their part in relief efforts, and assisting in reporting dangers and problems, and for clearing streets to improve traffic flow and minimise dangers. “In times like these, our communities shine,” said Mr Botha.

He confirmed much of this week would be spent assessing damages and impacts, clearing, cleaning, repairing and rebuilding. “We have identified strengths and weaknesses – all of which will be reviewed to ensure the city become as disaster-ready as possible,” said Mr Botha.