Heavy rains persist as level 4 weather warning issued for Gauteng, Mpumalanga




While wet weather persists throughout the country, the South African Weather Service (Saws) on Monday issued a level four warning for Gauteng and Mpumalanga. 

According to Saws, strong winds, heavy downpours and large hail is expected to hit the provinces during the day on Monday. 

This includes parts of Middelburg, Mkhondo, Standerton, Machadodorp, Johannesburg and Pretoria.  

Heavy rains could result in localised flooding, damage to infrastructure and vehicles, as well as reduced visibility, Saws warned. 

ALSO READ: ‘Vicious’ weather: Is heavy rain normal?

Path of destruction 

From crops to infrastructure, heavy rains experienced since the end of last year have left an intense path of destruction. 

A number of people have lost their lives, livelihoods and homes, notably in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, where disaster relief efforts were in full swing. 

ALSO READ: IFP blames KZN flood deaths on ANC not providing rural infrastructure

The Witness reports it will cost more than R270 million to fix the damage caused by recent inclement weather in KZN’s uMngeni municipality. 

In Ladysmith this past weekend, heavy rains led to the region’s entire CBD being under water, wreaking havoc for motorists and businesses. 

Flash floods were reported in several residential areas and villages in the Alfred Duma municipality, and the Ezakheni water treatment works in the uThukela municipality is currently unable to supply water to communities due to high water turbidity, Ladysmith Gazette reported. 

Many residents have also been left homeless. 

In the Free State and North West, farmers were struggling with the latest bout of storms. 

ALSO READ: Farms in North West and Free State under water after intense storms

Agricultural organisation TLU SA confirmed that more than 6,000 hectares of crops between Christiana and Hertzogville have been damaged, and in some cases destroyed. 

TLU SA has submitted a proposal to the Free State Department of Agriculture, urging it to declare afflicted agricultural communities as disaster areas. 

Independent agricultural meteorologist Johan van den Berg said many maize districts, especially in the Free State, suffered permanent damage. 

Compiled by Nica Richards. Additional reporting by Cheryl Kahla and Caxton publication Ladysmith Gazette.

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