Floods take toll on several Bay businesses

Kholeka Kumalo

TORRENTIAL rain in Nelson Mandela Bay over the past few weeks has forced at least three businesses near the Port Elizabeth Airport to close down temporarily until dams of water covering their premises have subsided.

Mohair factory Momento’s of Africa and a fishery company renting the Omega Civils site as a storage facility were still recovering from water damage caused by floods two weeks ago, with Saturday night’s storm compounding the problem.

“We employ 15 women in the factory and there are five people working in the office, but now no one can go to work. The water is knee-deep, so there will be a lot of damage, but we still have to assess the extent of it,” Momento’s marketing coordinator, Tanya Swanepoel, said.

“Our products are wet, our computers are ruined, and we make major international exports which will now be severely delayed.”

Workers, project and warehouse managers were yesterday doing all they could to pump water about half a metre deep from the National Glass warehouse floor.

Warehouse manager Johan Muller said they would not be back in operation anytime this week, but stated that their site was not the worst affected in the area.

Worker Luvuyo Domke said working under such wet conditions was proving extremely difficult.

“We work with glass and a lot of it is broken. Trying to clear all of this water is risky because we don’t know how much of the glass is sitting at the bottom, so it’s dangerous.”

Just over the road, situated slightly higher up, Stu Davidson and Sons was dry and fully operational.

“It’s business as usual here. We’ve been working uninterrupted, but others in the area have been trying to get rid of this water for weeks now,” workshop manager Brian Posselt said.

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