Vaal River flood warning issued

2011-01-06 13:09

Johannesburg - The Emfuleni Municipality in Gauteng and the Mpumalanga province issued flood warnings on Thursday after main rivers began overflowing.

Heavy rains resulted in overflowing on the Vaal river in Emfuleni and the Crocodile (Mgwenya) river in Mpumalanga.

"Most houses near the Barrage sluice gates [Vaal] are under water... and a rescue team is on standby," said Emfuleni spokesperson Klaas Mofomme.

More than 40 families had already been evacuated.

Emfuleni includes two main towns - Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark - and a number of townships including Sharpeville, Evaton, Sebokeng, Bophelong and Boipatong.

Roads closed

"The river flow through the sluice gates is currently standing at three million litres per second."

A number of roads around Three Rivers were closed due to the flooding.

These included Brandmuller, Golf, Klip River, and General Hertzog roads.

Houtkop road, commonly known as Potchestroom/Vereeniging road, was the only accessible street.

The municipality urged residents to avoid the affected areas as it may be dangerous.

"Motorists are advised not to underestimate the strength of the water in the flooded areas but rather take alternative routes," said Mofomme.

Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa was scheduled to visit the Vaal dam on Thursday to see how the level was being controlled.

Kwena dam 105% full

Residents living along the Crocodile (Mgwenya) river in Mpumalanga were also urged to stay alert as the river flow had increased.

Provincial co-operative governance spokesperson Simphiwe Kunene said the communities of Kanyamazane, Matsulu and Nkomazi must be on full alert.

"The Kwena dam that feeds the Crocodile River is more than 105% full and already overflowing into the river."

He said it had increased the already high river flow.

Those living downstream near the Elands river were also warned.

"The continued rains have resulted in an increase of dam and river levels thus making small streams very dangerous," said Kunene.

"Parents are urged to warn children not to play next to streams and rivers."

Weather patterns indicate that rains will continue for the next few days.

- Are you affected? Send us your photos and eyewitness accounts

  • Zoolie - 2011-01-06 13:47

    Now this is news worth reading. Not the rigged matric results and disrespecting the poor kids who actually managed to get their matric. Goodness it sounds like they have managed to warn the people early enough.

      M&J - 2011-01-06 14:20

      Hate to tell you - they've managed to warn the poeple early enough (?) but it could have been avoided. It's the same as happened beginning 2010. They leave the opening of the sluice gates too late (probably sleeping on the job as usual instead of controlling the situation and being pro-active) then have to open them all at once. Therefore the houses are flooded & people evacuated which could have been avoided if it had been managed properly from the beginning.

      Kristi10 - 2011-01-06 15:46

      @M&J people have been warned for year not to build close the banks of the Vaal due to flood risk yet they continued to ignore the warning. If people listened to the warning in the first place the problem would have been easier to manage...

  • Paddy - 2011-01-06 13:50

    Please get the story right! None of the above mentioned townships are affected in any way what so ever. i live in he affected suburb of Three Rivers in Vereeniging and we are the most and proberly only area affected.

      Kristi10 - 2011-01-06 15:47

      Read the article

      A - 2011-01-07 09:35

      i disagree with you paddy - areas such as esates @ bothaville also gets affected... badly... i do agree with M&J - it is the truth, my inlaws never gets warnings early enough - and has to evacuate... as for Kristi10, my inlaws build well away from the river, but still, the guys managing the sluices must keep in consideration that the vaal runs for more than 50 kilometers...and that the effect of open the sluices all at once is much worse than the areas affected in 3Rivers

  • Mpho - 2011-01-06 14:30

    I am very Disapointed to hear that Minister of Education is very pleased with the perfomance of Matric result 64% is not a good pass rate with such high population of Learners in South Africa.. Public Schools will never reach 100% pass rate because Minister herself still live with atleast they have passed... we need to remove people like that in the education sector.

      Zoolie - 2011-01-06 14:45

      you can comment here about the water flooding. the matric results comments, is on another section of news 24. sorry i had to say something there.

  • Johan - 2011-01-06 14:50

    Now that everybody knows that Paddy is staying in three rivers. That is besides the point. In the story above: "Most houses near the Barrage sluice gates [Vaal] are under water... and a rescue team is on standby," said Emfuleni spokesperson Klaas Mofomme. Is your house under water?

  • Ettienne - 2011-01-06 15:03

    We should stop being selfish like Paddy. Irrespective weather your area is the " only " area that is affected Paddy, the water comes from all other places and not only the dams. We should learn to live in harmony with one another and help one another where we can. This land is God's land, NOT ours. Just look around the world what is happening. ARE WE ALL READY????????? Hats off to the rescue teams and folk on standby and the early warnings.

  • Pragmatist - 2011-01-06 18:42

    Surfs up - eat your hearts out Durbs and CT!!! haha

      Melly30 - 2011-01-07 11:09


  • Sbloggs - 2011-01-13 15:47

    Whilst I feel empathy for all the people whose lives and livelihoods have been disrupted here (and in Australia, and Pakistan), I can't help but feel disgusted by humans and their stupidity. At a very basic level, rainfall = water = life. Without water, there can be no life at all. Instead of evacuating people from potentially threatening flood waters, how about just STOP human settlements in areas where this can potentially occur? How stupid must governments be to keep earmarking land for human settlement in areas that continue to experience high rainfall (and duh ...flooding.) Do you think that if you build 300 cluster homes that mother nature suddenly decides to divert the flow of rainfall away from these precious fake tuscan clusters? How much longer do we as humans go on fooling ourselves that we can alter the course of nature? History has repeated itself so many times in this instance and yet we STILL dont learn from this (Fast forward to 2012,13,14,15,16,17 ... and further flood warnings and further evacuations ... and yet still more human settlements in these areas.) Self-interest is what governs humans - and their appurtenances, such as (stupid)governments. Without a change in our ATTITUDE to each other and to the rest of this planet ........ history will repeat - and we will continue to not learn from it.

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