Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Response to Cape Town Flooding

Wondering how to help those affected? Read on.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam

Photo credit: AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam

If you live anywhere in the greater Cape Town area, you would’ve by now  witnessed at least some of the havoc that the weather has wrecked over the city in the last couple of days. The torrential rain has flooded roads, delayed transport, and damaged many homes. We’ve been shocked by some of the news reports coming in. One reported that over 9000 shacks have been flooded and another has stated that more than 30 000 people may have been affected in some way by the weather. These scary figures have caused  many of us to sit up and ask the question: So what can we do to help?

If this is the question you’ve been asking yourself, we want to help you respond in a way that will best meet the needs of those affected. We have been in contact with The Warehouse, one of our partner organisations that work alongside the city in responding to disaster relief situations, and they have told us that things are currently under control.

It appears that while the flooding has been severe, the city municipality and disaster relief agencies were able to alert people in advance and set up temporary shelters to accommodate those affected. The biggest need for those who have been affected has been for shelter and a dry place to get warm and store their belongings.

So if you know of anyone who has been displaced by the flooding, why not offer them a warm and dry place to stay or store their belongings? If you’re blessed with a tumble dryer, why not offer to help dry their clothing and bedding? These may seem like small things but at the moment they could be the best way you could bless someone in immediate need. The long-term need is a far more complex one which calls for adequate housing to be built on land that is not prone to flooding. (We will be posting about ways you can help advocate for this over the next few weeks.)

You might also be wondering, how does this fit in with Warm Up Winter? We really encourage you to take part in this campaign by giving your good quality clothing to one of the partner organisations we have recommended. Some of these clothes will be used to respond to disaster relief situations, like we’ve mentioned above, but there are also numerous  organisations who will use these  clothes as a way of empowering people by providing employment opportunities. Our hope is that by dropping off clothing at these partner organisations you will not only help meet a need, but also build connections and relationships with the people behind “the need” and our partners.

If you have any questions, or for more info, email us,, or visit

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2 thoughts on “Response to Cape Town Flooding

  1. Roger Wood on said:

    We are all aware of people who are living on the street sleeping in doorways or subways. While I would not normally support the idea of giving them money I feel that the present situation is an exception where we need to at least take them something warm to drink and some food to eat. Find out if you can help to get them to a shelter for a few nights and pay for their stay but don’t give them the money.

  2. What so ever you do to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Jesus…

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