PRETORIA, While the recent rains have brought much relief to drought-hit South Africa but substantially increasing water levels at dams, the flooding the rains bring has caused havoc in parts of the country.

The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has issued a comprehensive list of safety tips for the public, should they find themselves facing floods.

“Sadly, we have received unconfirmed reports of fatalities within Northern Cape and North West provinces as a result of flooding,” Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen said Thursday.

“Members of the public must take note that it does take a while for water to move down the rivers so flooding may occur even in areas where there is no rain, hence community members must be cautious at all times,” the department said.

The South African Weather Service says more rain is expected in many parts of the country. Communities under threat or are exposed to flooding risks are urged to move to higher ground when flash flood warnings are issued.

“At this stage, our teams across the country are on alert. They are able to cope with the situation and they will do everything possible to assist communities. However, we urge everyone to be extremely vigilant and cautious so that we can save lives,” Cogta said.

The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) is in contact with provincial and local disaster management centres on the ground to monitor the situation and give support.

Meanwhile, the North West Province Disaster Management Centre is on high alert as the province and the rest of the country experience continuous heavy rains.

The Member of the provincial Executive Council in charge of Local Government and Human Settlements, Galaletsang Gaolaolwe, has dispatched a team of officials to various areas to assess the extent of the damage caused by recent heavy rains.

Gaolaolwe said the department had established a joint operation centre comprising representatives from district disaster management centres and all sector departments.


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