Heavy rains set to con­tinue to­day

CityPress - - News - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­press.co.za

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.

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