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Social & Community News
24 February 2017

The recent flash floods left a trail of destruction in Sunrise Park, Rustenburg. One person drowned in Lemenong Section (Rustenburg) after their vehicle was swept away by floodwaters. Two persons reportedly drowned, the second was found a day later, alive.

On Monday 20 February 2017, the following levels were reported; Hartebeespoort Dam: 100% with two floodgates open; Roodekoppies: 84% with four floodgates open; Vaalkopdam: 119% and flooding; and the Buffelspoort Dam: 109% with three floodgates open. According to Fire Protection Services, about 26 floodgates nationally are open. A farmer just outside of town reported approximately 340mm rainfall for a period of three days the past week.

Selons River

Rustenburg & Surrounds – Disaster struck on Tuesday evening, 21 February 2017 when the tributary of the Elands river that flows through Phokeng, flooded its banks and swept through the community of Phokeng. One person drowned in Lemenong Section (Rustenburg) after a vehicle was swept away in the flood. Two persons reportedly drowned, the second was found a day later, alive, Thapelo Matebesi, municipal spokesperson, confirmed.

Enormous trees were pushed over like twigs and an entire section of the road had been lifted up and dropped further downstream as if it weighed nothing.

Sunrise Park 

Extensive floods and damages have also been recorded in Tlhabane, Ramochana, Sunrise Park, Paardekraal, Meriting, Boshoek, Rietvlei and Robega.

Rescue Operations

Twenty families were rescued Tuesday night with boats due to flooding while 29 families were accommodated at the Old Kanana Clinic after their homes were flooded. Scores of vehicles were also swept away due to flooding of several roads.

Kgale Section, Phokeng.

The Rustenburg Local Municipality summoned an emergency joint operation team comprising of all relevant stakeholders with an objective to assess the extent of the damages and needs in all 45 Wards. The team is based at the Joint Operation Centre (JOC). The Executive Mayor of the Rustenburg Local Municipality, Cllr Mpho Khunou, visited relatives of the deceased on Wednesday afternoon to pay homage on behalf of the municipality.

Homes Destroyed

Many families were left with nothing when their homes and all their belongings were swept away. One such a person is Ms Dipou Moloi (59) who lives next to the river in Kgale Section.

“It was a few minutes after nine and I had put the young children to bed and was preparing to go to sleep myself when I heard the strangest noise,” Ms Moloi told the Platinum Weekly newspaper. “It sounded like waves on the beach or a low hissing noise that grew louder and louder. When I went outside to look, the river had already burst its banks and the water level just kept rising.”

One of the many roads in the North West Province that were closed due to heavy rains. Reported on 23 February 2017: N4 between Swartruggens and Rustenburg has been re-opened.

Ms Moloi said it was then that she called her two eldest sons (who each live in their own prefab house on the property) to come and help her save her worldly possessions from the ever rising water.

s they were emptying the lower cupboards and lifting belongings off the floor as the water was already rushing in from underneath the front door, it became clear to Ms Moloi that their lives were in danger. She decided to grab the young ones and head for higher ground. Tshegofatso and Bachipile Moloi carried their mom and younger siblings to higher ground while their own houses were swept down river.

The family’s car, like so many others had been pushed downriver, the parking bay itself - destroyed. Many other houses and informal rooms along with their contents lay scattered along the riverbed, through what had yesterday still been their neighbours’ gardens.

Food Parcel & Assistance needed

While food parcels were duly distributed to stranded families and blankets to 29 families; the municipality is calling on businesses, NGO’s, CBO’s, government departments and individuals to donate food parcels, clothes, blankets or any kind of assistance so as to alleviate the plight of the affected families.

Sunrise Park 

MEC for Local Government and Human Settlements in Bokone Bophirima, Galaletsang Gaolaolwe has dispatched a team of officials from the Provincial Disaster Management Centre to assess the extent of the damage caused by the recent rains throughout the province.

According to the departmental Spokesperson, Ben Moloi, the Department of Local Government and Human Settlements stated  that areas in Ratlou, Kagisano-Molopo, Greater Taung, Ramotshere Moiloa, Mahikeng, Moses Kotane, Rustenburg, Maquassi Hills and Matlosana local municipalities have been worst affected with most of the roads closed due to flooding.

USE CAUTION! FLOODS!

MEC Gaolaolwe called on communities to take precautionary measures during this period. “More rain is expected for different parts of the province until the end of the week and everyone must take care.

esidents staying along floodlines and river banks must take precautionary measures and ensure that their families are safe during flooding and they should stay away from overflowing streams and rivers”, said MEC Gaolaolwe.

The aftermath of the devastating flash floods in Phokeng.

Communities are also urged to take the following precautionary measures:

  • Do not cross rivers and swollen streams;
  • If your car gets stuck in a flood, get out and climb to higher ground;
  • Move valuables to safe buildings which are above flood levels;
  • Switch off electricity at the supply point;
  • Move your animals to a safe place;
  • If evacuation is recommended, abandon your home immediately before your way out is cut off by flood water;
  • Never drive into water covering the road, the road might have been washed away;
  • Be aware of streams and drainage channels known to flood suddenly; and 
  • Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground before walking through moving water.

For any further reports, updates or enquiries kindly contact the following numbers 014 590 3856, 014 590 3304 or 014 590 3232.

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