Dlamini-Zuma calls for vigilance and caution amid heavy rains

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has called for vigilance and caution amid rains experienced in several parts of the country.

This follows a warning by the South African Weather Service that widespread rain, as well as embedded thunderstorms with prospects for rainfall over much of South Africa, remain favourable, especially over the eastern half of the country.

In a statement, CoGTA spokesperson Lungi Mtshali said: “In particular, there is a moderate to high risk of localised flooding of a disruptive nature, especially over North West, Gauteng, Free State, as well as adjacent parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the north-eastern parts of the Northern Cape.”

Mtshali added that Dlamini-Zuma has called on South Africans to be on high alert and cooperate with government by adhering to the warnings being issued, especially as water moves quickly downstream, and that flooding can occur even when there is no rain.

The department also issued safety tips:

  • People living in low-lying areas must take special care during storms, as sudden floods might affect them. They should monitor the rising water levels and evacuate the areas to a safer place or higher spot when the water level rises.
  • Do not cross through flooded roads or bridges – use other routes.
  • Avoid crossing low-lying bridges, streams and rivers.
  • Never try to walk, swim or drive in swift-flowing water. Even if the water is 15cm deep, it can sweep you off your feet.
  • Motorists must be very careful and avoid driving through flooded areas.
  • Drive to and park in safer areas.
  • The public must monitor weather alerts on radio and television.
  • The public should contact their municipal disaster management centres or the nearest police station or call the national emergency numbers (112, 10177 or 107) when faced with threats.
  • Do not try to drive over a low-water bridge if water is flowing strongly across it and the ground is not visible.

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