A total of 82 people have been killed by drowning and lightning incidents in the recent floods.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) spokesperson Lungi Mtshali said the heavy downpours had caused considerable damages to large parts of the country, thus limiting movement of people and causing flooding in some areas.
“Rain is most welcomed as it assists in addressing the challenges of water shortages in some parts of our country.
“These threatening conditions call for an all of society and government approach to promote risk reduction and implement coordinated response measures,” Mtshali said.
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, therefore, urges communities to exercise caution as the rain has brought about dangerous conditions.
“In the same vein, our communities are key to ensuring the success of the response efforts by acting in a manner that reduces their exposure to risks of the prevailing flooding incidents.”
Disaster teams across the country have been dispatched to various parts of the country and work around the clock to assist communities.
Zuma said they would work together with all stakeholders to assist communities that are affected by the current rains.
Relevant authorities will assess the situation and provide the necessary support to affected communities.
“In an effort to protect lives and livelihoods, we urge communities to be cautious whilst walking or driving on the roads as some bridges have been eroded by heavy water and devastating floods,” she said.
They called upon all communities affected by the torrential rains to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions in line with disaster risk reduction principles, including the following:
Zuma furthermore encouraged parents, caregivers and teachers to help in emphasising precautionary measures at home and at school.
“To this end, we urge all our communities to avoid building dwellings in flood-prone or low lying areas, regularly observe weather safety messages and contact their local councillors, traditional leaders and emergency services should the need arise.”
The National Emergency Call Centre number is 112 to request emergency assistance and report emergencies.
She also warned against making false calls to the call centres.
“False calls divert emergency services away from people who are truly in need and in life-threatening situations, thus requiring immediate emergency assistance,” Zuma said.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) continuously issue updated early warning alerts to the public through all platforms and channels. Communities are therefore urged to keep abreast of all developments.
“We convey condolences to those who lost loved ones due to the current torrential rains. We also share in the pain of those who unfortunately lost properties,” she concluded.