More rain predicted for flood-hit SA

Rainfall is expected for the rest of the week in the northern provinces and central interior of the country, but it is difficult to predict flooding, the South African Weather Service said on Tuesday.

“All the northern provinces such as Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Free State and Gauteng can expect good rainfall,” forecaster Puseletso Mofokeng told the South African Press Association.

“It was difficult to say whether there would be flooding. We will have to look at it on a day-to-day basis. However, we can’t rule out the possibility of flooding,” he said.

It was difficult to isolate areas that would have heavy rainfall that could cause floods.

Forty-three families had been evacuated from Ivory Park, north of Johannesburg, since Monday as floods swept through the area, emergency services said.

“Emergency services are still at the scene and the operation centre is still operational in Ivory Park,” spokesperson Percy Morokane said.

Monitor ‘hot spots’
“We are dealing with a situation where people are still displaced. Those people will be provided with relief material until they find their feet.”

Emergency services would continue to monitor areas identified as flooding “hot spots”.

Emergency calls started coming through after midnight on Monday from the Thembakazi informal settlement. People were evacuated from that settlement, as well as from Rabie Ridge and Ebony Park.

However, after the death of a fireman and four others rescued from floods, water levels at the Hennops River in Centurion had subsided, the Tshwane community safety department said on Tuesday.

“We had a quiet night … The situation is under control but the skies are overcast which could mean more rain,” said spokesperson William Baloyi.

“The bridges over the river are not flooded but people must cross them with precaution.”

On Monday, a 42-year-old fireman Henry Knox and his colleague were in their canoe on a search-and-rescue operation in the Centurion area when they hit a violent rapid. The canoe capsized and Knox drowned.

A man who had been swept away in his car and had managed to clamber onto the roof, told rescuers he saw at least seven people being pushed down the river past him.

“We can’t confirm that these people are missing because no relatives have come forward about it… but the police are continuing their search for possible missing people,” Baloyi said.

He appealed to residents in the area to immediately report any missing people to emergency service personnel.

Too early to tell
On Tuesday AgriSA said it was too early to estimate the amount of damage the floods are causing the agriculture industry.

AgriSA spokesperson Kosie Van Zyl said: “They can speculate, but in my experience in the end the damage is not as bad as predicted.”

He said the only way to make a proper assessment was to go from farm to farm and vineyard to vineyard once the floods had ended.

Apart from the grape vineyards near Upington in the Northern Cape that were still under water, there were likely be no long-term effects on agriculture.

The cooperative governance and traditional affairs department on Monday recommended that 28 municipalities, including Johannesburg and Tshwane, be declared disaster areas. Heavy flooding over the past month has claimed 40 lives countrywide, as a result of flooding, lightning and thunderstorms between mid-December to date.

Information gathered by the National Disaster Management Centre showed that over 6 000 people nationally had been displaced.

Reports received so far from the Northern Cape, North West and KwaZulu-Natal estimated damage to infrastructure at R50-million, R6-million and R300-million respectively.

Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka said funding was needed for humanitarian and agricultural relief, the repair and upgrading of public infrastructure and damaged houses. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never meet

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

Indians in South Africa, a historical excerpt

In the book, The Indian Africans, academic Kiru Naidoo explores the society of colonial Natal in the late 1800s to early 1900

Covid-19 info lags as cases shoot up

Vital information apps and websites are outdated as cases begin to mushroom, especially near the coast, just in time for the December holidays

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

A colossus with feet of clay

South Africa is disproportionately targeted by cybercriminals. Digital attacks call for digital solutions and technology is a the prime weapon in this fight

The president, the preacher and the great escape

Malawi’s new president was furious after Shepherd Bushiri’s dramatic disappearance from South Africa

Subscribers only

Dozens of birds and bats perish in extreme heat in...

In a single day, temperatures in northern KwaZulu-Natal climbed to a lethal 45°C, causing a mass die-off of birds and bats

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

More top stories

Eskom could be fined R5-million over pollution at Kendal power...

The power utility is being taken to court by the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in a first-of-its-kind criminal prosecution

Hope grows on Durban beachfront

Ten homeless men who turned a vacant lot into an organic vegetable garden are now reaping the rewards of their toil

Shabnim Ismail bowls her way into the record books Down...

The night before Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final, fiery South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail lay awake pondering how...

Hawks make arrest in matric maths paper leak

Themba Daniel Shikwambana, who works at a printing company, was granted bail and is due to return to court in January

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…