The child was reportedly playing alongside the river on Sunday afternoon when she fell in.
Emergency personnel were alerted to the drowning around 14:15 on Sunday, says National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Ballito station commander Quentin Power.
IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst says reports indicate that the child was playing alongside the river, when she lost her footing, fell into the river, and was swept away.
“NSRI rescue swimmers entered the water to begin a search and they were joined by crew from IPSS Medical Rescue.”
The child was found more than 3km downstream, and she was declared dead at the scene. Her body was recovered from the water and handed over to KwaZulu-Natal Health Forensic Pathology Services.
“We are appealing to the public to be cautious in and around coastal and inland waters and in particular strong flowing rivers. Avoid attempts to drive or swim across any river especially during the rainy season or flash floods,” said Power.
Flooding in Mpumalanga
Ermelo, in Mpumalanga, has been flooded amid heavy rains that have been battering the province since last week.
Pictures and videos shared on social media show cars being pushed out of the flooded roads, as some try to drive through.
According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), more rainfall is expected over the eastern parts of Mpumalanga from Monday evening into Tuesday morning.
This might result in flooding of low-lying areas, isolated incidents of breaching earth dam walls, general disruption to traffic and basic services, flooding of roads and settlements, dangerous driving conditions on tarred and dirt roads, due to increased number of potholes, as well as danger to life.