Heavy flooding and snow keeps SA on its toes

Provincial disaster risk chief Colin Deiner said about 500 vehicles were freed from heavy snow in Beaufort West.

He said a metre and a half of snow had fallen.

In the Southern Cape, a number of roads were closed due to flooding following heavy rains.

"There was a lot of localised flooding in Knysna, George and Mossel Bay … we were very fortunate in that a lot of pro-active work was done and we breached a lot of river mouths," he told the radio station.

Cape Town disaster risk centre spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said villagers from Sir Lowry's Pass had been hardest hit by flooding and were accommodated in a community hall.


According to the Cape Times, rocks were dislodged on Sir Lowry's Pass on Sunday, hitting two cars.

Roads opened
Twelve people, including six children, sustained minor scratches and bruises. The N2, which was jammed with cars driving home after the school holidays, was closed for a while to clear the rocks.

Roads throughout the Eastern Cape were also reopened following a weekend of snow and heavy rainfall, police said.

"There are no more roads closed on this side," Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said.

The N6 that passes Queenstown and Aliwal North was closed over the weekend due to the bad weather.

Fatyela said while the weather was improving, it was still very cold, with snow on the mountains.

On Sunday Fatyela confirmed a man (69) and a woman (44) froze to death in Mqanduli and Mthatha. They were found lying by the roadside.

Three other people drowned in Port Elizabeth, SABC radio reported. Fatyela could not confirm this.

Icy surfaces
On Sunday paramedics came to the aid of 41 people trapped in the Butha Buthe pass en route to Afri-Ski and the Oxborn Lodge in Lesotho, ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said.

Rescuers arrived at the scene at 11am on Sunday.

"They found that almost 30 vehicles were either stuck, or involved in collisions as they skidded on the icy surface," said Vermaak.

The scene stretched out over 1.5km. Several people had slight hypothermia and were dehydrated.

A diabetic whose medication had run out was in need of urgent help. Another person with asthma was also treated.

All 41 were transported to a temporary clinic erected in Fouriesburg.

On Monday Vermaak said everyone had been cleared from the area and the road leading from the lodges to the border should be reopened later in the day. – Sapa

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. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sapa
Guest Author
Advertising

Taxis and Covid-19: ‘The ideal doesn’t exist’

After months of complaining about the regulations imposed on the industry, taxi owners have been given a lifeline

Mask rules are not meant to ‘criminalise’ the public

Shop owners and taxi drivers can now refuse entry to people who defy mandatory mask-wearing regulations

Ramaphosa asks all South Africans to help to avoid 50...

Calling this ‘the gravest crisis in the history of our democracy’, the president said level three lockdown remains, but enforcement will be strengthened

Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday