Good news – the sun's coming out this weekend

By admin
13 March 2014

Less chances of rain are expected over the weekend in Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga, the SA weather service said on Wednesday.

"By Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the rain will be moving to lesser affected provinces [such as] half of North West and the Free State," forecaster Ezekiel Sebego said.

There was a severe weather watch for Wednesday and Thursday for the eastern parts of North West, Gauteng, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga, he said.

Water affairs department spokesman Themba Khumalo said the rain in Gauteng was the most persistent for the March period in 14 years.

"This is confirmed by the weather services," he said.

The department was trying to control dam levels in the province.

"If we don't, they will burst."

He said places such as Vereeniging would be in danger of being flooded if the Vaal Dam were to burst.

"By yesterday [Tuesday] we opened eight sluice-gates to control the levels so that the water would flow into the Vaal River.

"That puts the river at [risk] of overflowing too."

He said those who lived near rivers should ensure that they were a good distance from the floodlines.

"In places like the Jukskei River in Alexandra residents build homes below the floodlines which is why every year they are affected [by heavy rain and floods]," Khumalo said.

In Johannesburg, emergency management services spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said about 100 homes were affected by flooding in Zandspruit, near Honeydew, west of Johannesburg.

An emergency shelter was set up in the area for the displaced group of about 200, but they were reluctant to leave their belongings behind, Mulaudzi said.

Diepsloot and Ivory Park were also affected by the flooding. No drownings were reported, he said.

"We will continue to monitor the affected areas."

Meanwhile in Tshwane, 10 homes collapsed in an informal settlement in Stinkwater.

"We assisted in organising alternative accommodation, blankets, and food parcels," emergency management services Johan Pieterse said.

In Limpopo, police Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said an elderly woman who was swept away with her husband while swimming in Bela-Bela at the weekend was still missing on Wednesday.

The two were swimming in an undercover swimming pool at the Kariba Lodge on Friday when the Bela-Bela dam overflowed and they were swept away.

The body of the 74-year-old man was found on Saturday. The search for the 69-year-old woman was continuing. He said the persistent rain made it difficult to recover her body.

- Sapa

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