Four of the five districts in the Northern Cape have been badly affected by the recent rain storms and floods in the Province while three people lost their lives.
FOUR of the five districts in the Northern Cape have been badly affected by the recent rain storms and floods in the Province while three people lost their lives.
The worst hit areas were Joe Morolong, Ga-Segonyana and Gamagara local municipalities in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District, with many people having to be evacuated from their homes after they were damaged during the heavy rains and accompanying strong winds.
This was revealed by the Northern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Bentley Vass, during a media briefing on Wednesday.
“In Joe Morolong Municipality a number of local villages have been negatively affected by the heavy rains, with damage to about 313 households. Road infrastructure has been severely damaged, leaving the Province with no choice but to close the affected roads for the safety of our communities. Road closures were affected on the road between Churchcill and Bendel, due to the road experiencing water overflow, and there is also a possibility of the bridge on that road collapsing. A number of roads and bridges have also been damaged,” said Vass.
“In the Ga-Segonyana local municipal area, nine villages have also suffered damages, affecting 348 households. In the Gamagara local municipal area, the Gamagara River was overflowing. Stormwater drainage systems in all towns in Gamara have been affected. Some roads are still closed and people are advised to use alternative roads.”
Vass added that in the ZF Mgcawu District, the Kgatelopele Local Municipality is the area that has been the hardest hit.
“A total of 123 households, in areas such as Lime Acres, Thlakalatlou, Kuilsville and Marateng have been affected by the storm.”
He said that a number of roads had been closed due to storm damage.
“The R31 near Danielskuil had been temporarily closed following flooding and damage on the road. Road users are encouraged to use the detour. Since the occurrence, traffic officials and police had been deployed to redirect the traffic. Assessments are under way to come up with a maintenance strategy.
“A sinkhole has also formed in the informal settlement of Marateng and the department of geoscience has been consulted in order to assist with assessment in that area. The Kgatelopele Municipality is also in the process of conducting a comprehensive assessment report with the assistance of the engineers.
Vass said that in the Frances Baard District, the areas that have been severely affected by the storms are the Phokwane, Magareng and Sol Plaatje municipal areas.
“A total of 129 households had been impacted. These households include dwellers in the formal and informal settlements.”
Vass added that ageing storm infrastructure and drainage systems had added to the impact of the floods.
“We are sitting with challenges of infrastructure in some of our areas. The direct result was that the drainage system could not effectively drain water and that water seeped into the homes of people, causing damage to buildings and goods.
“The district municipalities are in the process of quantifying the damages in order to determine the actual costs of the damages,”said Vass.
He called on communities to safeguard government infrastructure.
“The infrastructure is old but these problems are compounded when people use the stormwater drainages as dumping holes,” Vass said.
In the Pixley ka Seme District, the Siyathemba and Ubuntu municipal areas are the worst affected.
“Several households and roads have been flooded. Damage to electric power lines in the Prieska area was also recorded,”
“The Namakwa District was affected due to the rain coming upstream, which caused flooding and damage to road infrastructure,” he added.
Vass said all assessments had been completed and the extent of the damage will be determined once the rain has subsided.