IN SHORT: Cape Town is known for its stormy winters, and parts of the coastal South African city experienced flooding in June 2023. But a video of a wave crashing over a sea wall onto vehicles was filmed in 2017.
South Africa’s Western Cape province was hit by severe flooding in mid-June 2023, as heavy rain and wind swept its coast. The storms and floods also battered the port city of Cape Town, the country’s legislative capital.
The video is shot in the rain through the windscreen of a moving vehicle. As the vehicle turns right a wave surges over the sea wall, flooding the street. Palm trees can be seen being battered by the water.
Cape Town is known for its wet and windy southern hemisphere winter weather. But was the video shot in Sea Point in June 2023?
Video appeared online after previous Cape Town storms
So it wasn’t filmed in 2023. But social media isn’t reliable, so we dug further.
Africa Check took screenshots of frames from the video and ran them through Google’s reverse image search. This led us to an instance of the video uploaded on YouTube with the description “Cape Town Storm Posted 10 June 2020”.
But several users commented that the video was old. One gave a link to yet another instance, uploaded in 2017. Here the YouTube description reads “Cape Town storm - 7 June 2017”.
A search for the keywords “Sea Point 7 June 2017 storm flood Cape Town” led us to several news reports on yet another severe storm in the city on that date. One, on the website of the radio station Jacaranda FM, included the video.
The video is at least six years old. But was it really shot in Sea Point, Cape Town? Another look at the footage shows that it was – or, at least, very close to Sea Point.
Using Street View to pinpoint a location
From the 33-second mark, you see the shopfronts of two adjoining businesses, Norman Goodfellows and Rawson properties. The Rawson sign shows a phone number with Cape Town’s 021 calling code.
Here you can see the Norman Goodfellows and Rawson shopfronts, as well as the palm trees that were battered by the waves. Nearby highrise buildings are also the same.
The video was shot near Sea Point, probably in 2017 – not in 2023 or 2020.
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