The department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has warned communities to be alert as more rain is expected in a week that has already seen heavy flooding and road damage in some parts of the country.
“The South African Weather Services indicates that more rains are still expected in many parts of our country‚ communities under threat or exposed to the flooding risks are urged to go at higher ground when flash flood warnings are issued‚” said Legadima Leso‚ the departmental spokesperson.
The department has been standby since ex-cyclone Dineo threatened to lash South Africa with severe storms last week. The department is responsible for coordinating all rescue operations during emergencies.
“The National Disaster Management Centre is in contact with provincial and local disaster management centres on the ground to monitor the situation and give support‚” Leso said.
“These prolonged rains are causing havoc and destruction to property and infrastructure in many parts of the country. Sadly‚ we have received unconfirmed reports of fatalities within the Northern Cape and North West Provinces as a result of flooding‚” Leso said.
Heavy rains were experienced in Gauteng‚ the North West‚ KwaZulu Natal‚ the Free State‚ and parts of the Northern and Eastern Cap from Sunday night‚ causing flooding in some areas.
Despite the risk of more rain and flooding‚ Leso said the “much needed rains” were filling dams.
“These current rains are welcome as they will go a long way to relieve the country from the most severe drought in recent history‚” he said.
Thabo Sematle‚ spokesperson for the North West department of community safety and transport management‚ confirmed on Tuesday that areas of North West experienced severe flooding‚ with major roads such as the N12 and the N14 temporarily closed in certain areas.