Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has confirmed the fatality on Tuesday morning.

Heavy rain and flooding over the past few days in Gauteng have caused forced evacuations and emergency rescues. According to EWN, one child was also looking for its missing mother.

Dlamini-Zuma and Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile have visited some of the areas which were devastated by the heavy rains in Mamelodi.

“We are saddened by the loss of life. We just learnt this morning that a washed-up body was discovered in Centurion. There are also secondary problems that are arising, such as sinkholes,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

She added that one person had died after being electrocuted in Soshanguvhe, north of Tshwane, following the rolling blackouts. 

Rescue operation at Centurion Hotel

Centurion was probably the worst affected by the rainfall, which also caused power outages across the area. The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was roped in to help evacuate 70 holidaymakers who were staying at the Centurion Hotel on Monday.

“Our Centurion Hotel ground floor and surrounding areas are currently under floodwater. The property is inaccessible. About 70 guests need to be evacuated and we’re working with emergency services on this. No one has been injured or is currently in danger”, the hotel said in a statement on Monday.

Hundreds of shacks destroyed in Mamelodi

More than 500 shacks were washed away in Mamelodi after floodwater rocked the township, east of Pretoria on Monday – leaving hundreds of people destitute. 

Tshwane’s Emergency Services rushed to the scene to bring some relief. Images and videos of the disaster on social show media show people’s belongings being swept away.

Acting Tshwane mayor Abel Tau said 150 people were rescued in the wake of the heavy downpours, after they were trapped in a church.

“There are no reported casualties and all people are accounted for so far,” Tau said.

The displaced residents have, in the meantime, been housed at a community hall. The city has also asked for donations in the form of clothing, food, diapers for babies, blankets and other necessities.

“Community members and organisations who would like to contribute relief material towards flooding victims, can do so at Nellmapius Library (next to the hall), 4146 Lesedi c/o Moreni road Nellmapius and Centurion Fire Station, 254 Basden Ave, Lyttelton, Centurion.”

On Sunday, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) issued flood warnings in parts of the country, including Gauteng, North West and the Free State. The weather service has further warned of additional heavy rains on Tuesday.

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Presh JM Reporter

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