Appeal for public not to interfere with road signs amid floods

The Mpumalanga department of community safety, security and liaison is appealing to communities not to interfere with temporary road signs erected on some roads affected by torrential rains at Ehlanzeni district municipality.

In an attempt to warn motorists, temporary road-closure signs have been put up after the removal of road signs on the R536 Road between Hazyview and Sabie, also in Mpumalanga.

Following heavy rains that led to flooding since the start of the year, the government has declared a national state of disaster to enable an intensive and coordinated response in Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West.

The state of disaster was gazetted by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Monday. The minister may declare a state of disaster where disastrous events occur or threaten to occur in more than one province.

On Monday, the Presidency said the national disaster management centre has received reports ranging from flooded homes, vehicles swept away by floods, overflowing dams and damaged sewerage facilities, to the loss of basic infrastructure and damage to roads, bridges and a Limpopo hospital.

Vincent Magwenya, spokesperson for the Presidency, said farmers have also suffered huge crop and livestock losses, and anticipate further losses as the South African Weather Service predicts that heavy rains will persist.

“These conditions have been brought on by the La Niña global weather phenomenon which occurs in the Pacific Ocean but impacts a country like South Africa with above-normal rainfall,” said Magwenya.

As things stand, the SA Police Service and the SA National Defence Force may be required to play a role in response to the natural disaster.

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