On the morning of June 14, 2023, the Somerset West electricity substation was flooded. The green cross marks our Kindergarten Playway Pre-Primary School, which was badly affected by the flooding.

Dear Friends of Golden Sunbeams,

This year’s winter brought capricious weather in June, which kept the whole Cape region busy! And some of our kindergartens have been hit pretty hard…

It rained cats and dogs for many days in June, which we rarely experience here in the Cape region. On the morning of June 14th, it didn’t want to get properly light, and then suddenly the power went off in the entire Helderberg area. Since South Africans have been used to living with power cuts for years, and there is even an Eskom App that shows exactly when the next power cut is to be expected, it was clear in this case that this was no ordinary power cut.

It quickly became apparent that the electricity station in Somerset West was flooded as a result of the persistent rain, and that many households in the entire Helderberg area would be without electricity for up to 24 hours.

Due to the heavy rains of the last few weeks, the Lourens River has developed into a river that has widened by up to 16 metres in some places. This was also the cause of the flooding of the electricity station located near the Lourens River.

When the storm warning was sent out the night before, no one expected it to be so bad.

Many roads were flooded and the N1 highway tunnel was impassable and had to be closed.

When the pictures reached us on June 15th, we immediately began calling all of our kindergartens to find out if everything was OK or if there was any damage and if so, to what extent. Many have been very lucky and escaped unharmed, some with a black eye and minor water damage. In such situations, our kindergartens benefit from the successive, systematic renovation of the building roofs in recent years.

Our kindergarten Playway Pre-Primary School in Helderzicht, which is located directly opposite the electricity station, was hit the hardest. It had to be closed for a few days because the entire area was under water there too.

At Playway Pre-Primary School, the Baby classroom has been badly damaged due to the flooding. All the carpets that were there are no longer usable. Fortunately, all other classrooms inside were spared. ­
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­Our kindergarten Kingdom Kids in Sir Lowry’s Pass was not looking so good either. Even so, we are all grateful that the small river that flows right next to the kindergarten and is a blessing for watering the beautiful vegetable garden in summer, did not overflow its banks. The classrooms, on the other hand, suffered badly because they became wet due to the leaking roofs. We were able to quickly deploy our hard-working, permanent workers on site and are very happy that after just a few days the roofs of the classrooms were again repaired.

A call for help also reached us from the Loflands Pre-Primary School in the township of Rusthof: the roof in one of the classrooms was leaking. With buckets and blankets, the kindergarten teachers fought against the water from above and tried to prevent major damage. Our workers were also able to seal this roof quickly.

But that’s not all! Rise and Shine Pre-Primary School in Nomzamo Township had its canopy damaged due to strong winds. Here, too, we were already in action to repair the damage.

­Our workers were also here quickly and took the opportunity not only to replace the canopy, but also to rebuild it even bigger and better.

We, the children from Rise and Shine and the principal Nomthandazo are very happy that the new canopy could be completed so quickly and solidly.

Also in Sir Lowry’s Pass township, the Sunshine Kiddies Day Care kindergarten was hit hard. The roof had a lot of leaks and the strong wind made all the rooms wet and cold. Since the streets were also flooded at times and the sewage system could no longer absorb the masses of water, our beautiful artificial lawn, which was laid some time ago, was badly affected.

Here, too, we were able to instruct our workers to repair all the damage that had occurred to the roof before the next rain came. Janetta, the principal could hardly believe her luck and would like to thank everyone who made it possible.

There were even leaks on the roof of our Helderberg Golden Sunbeams kindergarten in Macassar, which is in absolutely top condition. The new roof is solid, but there are still old metal planks on one side that let the water through. Here, too, the room in which the babies are housed has a leak in the ceiling. And of course we will make sure that everything is repaired there as well.

So much for today about the greatest damage caused by the whims of the winter weather. The many small holes and cracks through which the rain penetrated were repaired by the kindergartens themselves, without asking for our help. That pleases us and relieves us immensely, because we could, and can, take care of the major damage.

As you know, there is always a good side, and in this case, not only the plants are happy about the heavy rain. Our dams in the Cape region are all almost 100% full, which definitely bodes well for us in the future.

And as is well known, sunshine follows rain – and we’re hoping for that now!

Best regards

Britta & Bernd