Heavy rains set to continue today
Heavy rain wreaked havoc in various parts of South Africa yesterday leaving many roads closed and dampening the ANC’s pre-birthday celebrations in Soweto.
The governing party’s annual January 8 event today could face more setbacks as at least 880 buses brave watery roads to ferry supporters to Soweto’s Orlando Stadium.
Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo were the worst affected by the heavy rain that continued throughout the day yesterday. In Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, a taxi was swept away, drowning a female passenger and a rescue worker attempting to rescue her.
The rescue worker had by then managed to save the taxi driver and had reportedly returned to help the woman.
In Johannesburg, the ANC’s pre-birthday celebrations were interrupted by heavy rain. The party had deployed its top officials across Soweto to bolster support for its rally today, but News24 reports Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans, including a mini-rally, had to be cut short owing to the deluge.
On Friday the ANC urged people to flock to the stadium today despite more rain having been predicted.
According to the SA Weather Service (SAWS), an 80% chance of rain is expected in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga today. All three provinces, as well as North West, can expect localised flooding.
SAWS forecaster Kgolofelo Mahlangu said the bulk of the rain would pour overnight until midday tomorrow, threatening the ANC’s annual jamboree that starts at 7am.
Mahlangu also warned those at the stadium today to be cautious as there is a good chance of thunderstorms.
“If you are driving to Orlando Stadium, avoid low-lying bridges and flooded areas. We also urge parents to watch young children and ensure they stay away from river streams or flood areas,” Mahlangu said.
Last night, Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said there were flash floods reported around the city including in Driezik extension 5, Alexandra, Lanseria, Fourways and Paulshof among other suburbs, with a number of roads reported flooded, among them Union road in Kliptown and Main Reef Road in Robertville in the Randburg area.