Sanco warns: 3 more months of rain is coming

Limpopo floods. (File, AFP)
Limpopo floods. (File, AFP)

Mpumalanga - Be safe – three more months of summer rain is predicted, the South African National Civic Organisation warned on Sunday.

"We appeal to road users to observe safe following distances; drive with caution as they approach small bridges and other areas to avoid flooding as the South African Weather Bureau predicts more rains for the next three months," Sanco spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said, pointing out that this may lead to an increase in drownings.

The organisation conveyed its condolences to the families of a teenager who was swept away by a river in Kwaggafontein and a rescue worker who tried to save her.

Their bodies were retrieved after an extensive search involving divers and a helicopter on Saturday.

News24 previously reported that the 16-year-old girl had been a passenger in a minibus taxi which had attempted to cross the low-lying bridge in Vrysgewatch. It became bogged down in the middle of the torrent.

Both the driver and the girl ventured into the water and a search and rescue official managed to save the taxi driver but was swept away while trying to rescue the teen.

Mahlangu said the rain was crucial in breaking the longest and most devastating drought ever experienced in South Africa in more than 100 years. 
"The rains are important, especially in ensuring food security for the poor, but with it come the dangers of flooding, especially in rural areas," he said.

"[The] lack of adequate infrastructure, which includes water drainage systems in rural villages [and a] lack of proper roads and bridges, poses a threat to rural road users.
"A lack of sufficient knowledge on how to mitigate flood disaster in South Africa, especially among the disadvantaged communities, could spell a huge disaster to road users, learners crossing rivulets and kids swimming in water ponds and flowing rivers, owing to lack of knowledge of flooding and its  dangers," Mahlangu said. 

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