Pretoria, March 10, 2014 -The Department of Water Affairs issued a flood warning for some provinces on Monday after heavy rainfall soaked most parts of the country.
“The Department of Water Affairs is warning the public of possible severe flooding in the central, northern and eastern parts of the country which have been receiving persistent rains over the past two weeks,” said spokesperson Mava Scott.
He said the soils were very wet and many dams were full, with continued rain causing an increase in river levels and possibly flooding.
An increase in river levels would also occur through releases from major dams when the gates were opened. “The Grootdraai and Vaal dams are full and the Bloemhof is rising quickly,” said Scott.
He said people living near major rivers and those crossing low-level bridges should be warned to be cautious. “Communication is going on between the department of water affairs and disaster management centres to ensure that warnings are disseminated promptly,” said Scott.
He said the capacity of the Vaal dam has increased to approximately 105%, with seven gates open.
Meanwhile, Ekhurhuleni disaster and emergency services relocated 63 families from Pollack informal settlement in Thokoza after heavy rains over the weekend.
The municipality was set to relocate 35 families from Vusimuzi informal settlement in Tembisa, as their homes were close to the river, said spokesman Roggers Mamaila.