The government has called on South Africans to exercise caution as further heavy rainfall is expected over many parts of the country until the weekend.

The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs said in a statement Thursday that the South African Weather Service had warned that heavy rains could be expected over the six of the country’s nine provinces — Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo.

Gauteng — the country’s smallest but most populous province which includes the financial and national administrative capitals of Johannesburg and Pretoria — on Wednesday experienced torrential rains which affected many residents and subsequently led to loss of life and property.

Due to the magnitude of the flooding, the department said disaster management teams had been put on alert across the country, especially in areas where more rains were expected. The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) is in contact with provincial and local disaster management teams on the ground to monitor the situation and give support.

Ironically, South Africa continues to experience drought conditions across parts of the country, characterised by inconsistent rainfall rates and excessive heat conditions. The government has urged South Africans to continue to use water sparingly and to not be deceived by the current downpours and think that the drought is over.

“It is important to note that it will take a longer period for the country to recover fully from the severe drought and all the challenges it has brought with it such as food shortages, lack of drinking water, death of livestock and others,” said the department.

Meanwhile, the government has sent its condolences to the families of those who were killed in Wednesday’s heavy floods. Six people died in the flash floods and a three-year-old girl is still missing in Alexandra in Johannesburg.

The downpour battered parts of Gauteng Province Wednesday afternoon, leaving a trail of destruction, with many cars being swept away and homes being flooded.

Ekurhuleni in Gauteng, one of South Africa’s eight metropolitan Municipalities, was placed on high alert following the flash floods.


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