Heavy rains and flooding continue to wreak havoc across the country. The bad weather has affected the provinces of Mpumalanga, North West, and KwaZulu-Natal.
Northern Cape farmers on the banks of the Vaal River say some of their grazing lands are already flooded. This is after the Water and Sanitation Department opened 12 sluice gates at the Vaal Dam on Saturday.
The department says it had to open the gates due to heavy rains in a few provinces including Gauteng. An affected livestock farmer, Juan Pierre Harmse, says the rising water levels are threatening his animals.
“By the look of what is happening in front of me, it is very concerning. With the rapid rising of the water levels, we will have a problem. Our livestock is grazing next to the Vaal River, which is very, very concerning because already half of their grazing land is underwater, and by the look of things it’s only going to get worse. So my fear is we are going to have more wetlands than we will have grazing land. the problem that also comes with a lot of wetlands is diseases which are deadly for livestock.”
In Mpumalanga, Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has visited some of the flood-affected areas in Mbombela and Nkomazi to assess the extent of the damage.
Most rivers have burst their banks and dams are overflowing, while some bridges are submerged in Nkomazi, where about four people are still missing.
About 300 families have been displaced and are currently being accommodated in temporary shelters.
The Premier has blamed the poor drainage system for the floods. “We must be frank and upfront. Looking at the situation around here, the extent of the damage is not that severe, it is a question of weaknesses with the infrastructure that needs to be attended to.”
SABC News Reporter Nhlanhla Jele provides an update on damaged road infrastructure in the province:
Meanwhile, six families have been evacuated from the banks of the Lekwa River in Standerton following torrential rains. The families are receiving emergency help at the town’s community hall.
The head of community services in the Lekwa Municipality, Thobeka Mtshiselwa, says the water levels have subsided.
Mtshiselwa also says the authorities are assessing the extent of the damage.
“I can indicate that all our access roads are opened including R23 which is the road that links Gauteng and KZN. Yesterday we closed the Mayorville bridge which is also a link between Gauteng and KZN. Now I can indicate that they are open. They are safe for the community. And then when it comes to the CBD the town there are some areas that are still submerged, including our taxi rank and Hundel Street around the more so within Standerton.”
Authorities in the North West say efforts are underway to relocate residents of the flooded Deelpan village near Mahikeng. The area, which experienced flooding twice last year, has been inundated with torrential rains once again.
The Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality says it is attempting to persuade residents to leave the wetland-affected village.
More details in the report below:
The town of Ladysmith in the KwaZulu-Natal province remained closed after torrential rain flooded shops and homes in the area. Several gas stations, fast food restaurants and supermarkets remain closed.
More details in the report below:
Search and rescue operations for the six people that have been reported missing in the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality in the Eastern Cape are expected to commence on Sunday. This follows heavy rains and subsequent flooding which swept away the six people including a woman and her two children at Coffee Bay.
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com