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Heavy rains continue to wreak havoc in parts of the country; communities urged to be cautious

Heavy rains continue to cause damage.

Heavy rains continue to cause damage.

  • Heavy rainfall has wreaked havoc in parts of the country.
  • Several people have lost properties, vehicles were swept away and some homeowners have been trapped. 
  • Four local municipalities in the Chris Hani area.  

Disaster Management teams are on high alert across the country following continued heavy rains which have already resulted in vehicles submerged and swept away, trapped homeowners on roofs, collapsed walls, and decimated shacks and houses.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is urging communities to be cautious as they travel around amid heavy rains that continue to batter many parts of our country.

“Due to [these] heavy downpours, many areas are flooded, rivers are overflowing across [several] provinces, people have lost property and infrastructure like roads and bridges are also damaged,” said Cogta in a statement on Saturday. 

The National Disaster Management Center (NDMC) said they are in contact with provincial and local disaster management centres on the ground and coordinating with all the role players as the heavy downpours continue. 

READ | SANParks evacuates guests from Kruger National Park as more rainfall expected

As per the recent reports from the South African Weather Service (SAWS), the ground in many other areas that has been receiving rains is already saturated. 

“There are areas that are known to be prone to flooding as such communities are requested to treat these and all other areas as posing potential danger and desist from endangering their lives,” Cogta said.

“As per the SAWS report, these adverse weather conditions are still not showing any signs of stopping. The public is therefore urged to follow the regular updates and warning messages from the SAWS as it monitors the weather and climate conditions,” Cogta added. 

The minister called on communities across the country to assist those in need and affected by the flooding, especially those displaced as they lost homes, whilst are flooded and not conducive for human occupation.

Dlamini-Zuma said:

Those who [can] donate basic necessities are encouraged to assist working with municipalities and affected communities themselves. We urge you to be vigilant, cautious, and to heed the calls from relevant authorities.

Meanwhile, assessments are currently in progress across Chris Hani Municipality area as four local municipalities have since been affected by the severe weather conditions.  The municipalities are Enoch Mgijima, Dr A B Xuma, Emalahleni and Intsika Yethu LMs.

Road infrastructure and bridges have been severely impacted while some have collapsed. 

READ | Sisulu warns tourists as floods wreak havoc across the country

“Our Disaster Management team [on Saturday morning) had to be dispatched to Zone 1 in Ezibeleni where houses were reported to be flooded. We commend the swift response by all relevant stakeholders including sector departments in support of the affected families. This intervention has greatly assisted in mitigating further eventualities,” said spokesperson Bulelwa Ganyaza.

The municipality also extended its gratitude to all those who have reached out adding their weight in support of the flood victims from the community, church, NGOs, and different political organisations including businesses. 

Support and contributions from clothes, blankets mattresses, groceries, hygiene, and baby care packs including sleeping bags have since been received and distributed to the affected families.

“Our Disaster Management teams, Emergency Services, Red Cross, and the Gift of the Givers are still hard at work providing all the necessary assistance,” Ganyaza added.

South African Weather Service did not respond at the time of publication, their comment will be added once received. 

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