The Western Cape braced themselves as the South African Weather Service issued alerts and warnings for an approaching storm. 

An orange level six warning was issued for the Overberg area and as heavy rains poured down, the coastal town of Struisbaai experienced devastation as floods displaced many families in Agulhas, Struisbaai and Struisbaai Noord. 

Searl Derman, owner of Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa, is also the entrepreneur behind the newly established Two Oceans Waterfront in the Struisbaai Harbour with its magnificent Catch Cook Restaurant that provides much needed employment to the town of Struisbaai. 

Being alerted to the flood crisis and the need of the people of Struisbaai, Derman immediately mobilised his teams to step in and support the affected staff of the Catch Cook Restaurant, their immediate families and the local community.

The first load of blankets were dispatched to the town while the Catch Cook Restaurant management and staff started prepping the restaurant as a venue for a temporary essential food preparation centre.

On Friday 07 May 2021, the teams were ready with donations and other support to cook hundreds of delicious, warm, and nutritious meals for the affected community.

The Cape Agulhas executive mayor, Paul Swart, and his team set up a central relief point at the local community hall, while Western Cape provincial legislature speaker, Masizole Mnqasela drove to Struisbaai to lend his hand in the relief efforts during the ongoing crisis.

Speaker Masizole Mnqasela, together with Mayor Paul Swart and the Catch Cook Restaurant team immediately started distributing much-needed food and blankets to the local community. In a short address to the Catch Cook Restaurant volunteers and people of Struisbaai, Masizole noted: “It is a very serious tragedy. We view this as a human tragedy.

Masizole Mnqasela added that “it is not only the humanity, the kindness and the spirit to give that we are seeing, but also the pain that many of the people of this community has suffered.

In his address he thanked volunteers and appealed to people to support the ongoing relief efforts: “be it government, be it private sector, individual families; we are very much honoured. It is a very kind gesture to see.”.

The relief efforts are ongoing as rain continues to fall in the region. The Catch Cook Restaurant will continue to offer warm meals during the immediate crisis period and any pledges of support and donations are welcome. Donations can be directed to Linette Ameels of the Catch Cook Restaurant via +27 81 805 9999.

Searl Derman thanked the volunteers for their tireless support “as well as the helping hands of Masizole and Paul, to work together in the spirit of ubuntu to help our fellow people in their time of need”.