Limpopo families hit by floods
Johannesburg - A total of 220 families have been affected by this week's floods in Maruleng, the Limpopo department of human settlements said on Friday.
According to a preliminary assessment, 101 families were in need of immediate shelter and tents were being provided for them, said spokesperson Tseng Diale.
All 220 families had received food parcels.
The worst-affected community was that of Mulalane Village, where 20 families had been left homeless.
"[The department] will assist and support both local and district municipalities with some items of relief it has in stock," said Diale.
The SA National Defence Force, the SA Air Force, police divers, search and rescue teams, the fire brigade, and disaster and emergency management services had helped with evacuations and relief efforts.
There had been no flood deaths.
The Mopani district - encompassing Baphalaborwa, Giyani, Letaba, Maruleng, and Tzaneen municipalities - was hardest hit by the flood, said provincial agriculture spokesperson Kenny Mathivha.
More extreme weather expected
Initial estimates showed that R6m worth of crops - such as avocados, citrus, mangoes, and maize - had been decimated.
Infrastructure damage of R21m - to fences, irrigation equipment, dams, and storerooms - was recorded in the preliminary report.
Mathivha said many non-commercial emerging and subsistence farmers with already limited capacity were severely affected.
These were farmers who were usually uninsured against such damage, unlike large-scale commercial farmers.
While the department was seeking funds to rebuild infrastructure, crop losses could not be compensated.
The floods were particularly inopportune as many farmers were still trying to recover from similar devastation from the deluges of 2010 and 2011.
Mathivha said there was concern as weather reports indicated that further extreme weather could be expected in the next few days.
"If this does happen, it is predicted that an even larger area could be affected," he said.