Citizen
National 11.3.2014 06.20 am

Flood warnings: disaster teams on high alert

HELP. Tshwane Emergency Services ensures a pedestrian gets across a flooded street in Centurion yesterday. Picture: Christine Vermooten.
Disaster management centres remain on high alert with more incidents of flooding being reported around the country.

Joburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) urged residents living near rivers and dams to monitor and report rising water levels to the authorities.

EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said no incidents of drowning had been reported; however, incidents of flooding were still occurring.

“A number of homes in Kliptown, in the south of the city, were flooded this weekend. About 200 residents were temporarily relocated,” said Mulaudzi.

He added that more incidents of flooding had been reported in Ivory Park, in the east of Johannesburg, and along Klip Valley Road in Orlando West.

Disaster management yesterday cautioned Gauteng residents to move away from the Jukskei River and other rivers in the province that were on the verge of flooding.

Alexandra residents living on the banks of the Jukskei River said their homes continued to get flooded from the persistent rain. Many residents do not want to leave, since they have nowhere else to go, they say.

“I’ve applied for better housing in the past, including to the Gift of the Givers’ housing project, and was unsuccessful. I don’t want to keep living on the river banks, but have no choice,” one resident said.

The Gift of the Givers Foundation recently relocated 69 families from the river banks to a higher level in the same area in its Project Higher Ground venture.

The SA Weather Service confirmed that on and off rain and flooding could be expected in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West for the rest of the week.

Premier Thandi Modise urged municipalities in North West to alert the provincial disaster management centre of all flooding incidents.

Woman and children work and play outside a dwelling in Alexandra on the Jukskei River, 10 March 2014.  Heavy rains that have fallen in the area have left many residents at risk.  Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Woman and children work and play outside a dwelling in Alexandra on the Jukskei River, 10 March 2014. Heavy rains that have fallen in the area have left many residents at risk. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

An inter-governmental task team had been established in the province to conduct an impact assessment, distribute food parcels and tents and process social relief of distress grants to those affected by the floods.

This followed the relocation of 16 families from Monotomosetlha informal settlement near Coligny on Saturday following floods.

In Ekurhuleni, 63 families from the Pollack Park informal settlement in Thokoza were relocated following heavy rains this weekend. Ekurhuleni emergency services spokesperson Rogers Mamaila said 35 families from Vusimuzi informal settlement in Tembisa would be relocated as they were close to a river.

Limpopo police said an elderly woman, who was swept away with her husband while swimming in Bela-Bela, was still missing yesterday. The body of the 74-year-old man was found on Saturday.

– jevanneg@citizen.co.za

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