N West communities urged to be vigilant amid heavy rains. Image Credit: SANews

North West Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) MEC, Nono Maloyi, has urged communities throughout the province, especially those in low-lying areas, to exercise caution as the province continues to experience above-normal rains.

“The North West province, like many other parts of the country, has been receiving heavy rains in the past days, causing flooding in areas such as Tswaing, Mahikeng, Rustenburg, Moretele, Matlosana, JB Marks and Lekwa Teemane Local Municipalities.

“The most affected communities are those staying in flood-prone areas, such as below flood lines, wetlands and those staying in residential areas surrounded by water dams,” Maloyi said.

Maloyi said the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, through the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC), has activated a team of disaster management officials across all local and district municipalities to respond to incidents throughout the season, and to assist communities affected by the floods.

He said officials from the disaster management centres in the affected municipalities have been on the ground to conduct assessments to determine the extent of damage and to coordinate various interventions from stakeholders, which include the South African Red Cross Society, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), Gift of the Givers, government departments and other social partners.

“In Lekwa Teemane in Dr Ruth Segmotsi Mompati District, all the residents, mainly business owners, have been evacuated after the Bloemhof Dam sluice gates were opened. Some residents in JB Marks Local Municipality and in Orkney Vaal in Matlosana Local Municipality were evacuated and are currently staying with friends and relatives,” Maloyi said.

In Deelpan, Tswaing Local Municipality, more than 20 people agreed to be evacuated and they will be accommodated at a local community hall.

With more rains predicted, Maloyi said the department through the PDMC, continues to monitor and coordinate interventions and recovery measures in order to avoid life-threatening and emergency cases.

He said disaster management officials remain on high alert as the heavy downpours continue.

“We would like to let communities know that our officials are on high alert and continue to monitor the situation. The roads are slippery and we, therefore, urge road users to drive carefully.

“Those in [close] proximity of rivers or dams must monitor water levels and must evacuate as soon as the water level rises.

“Although no major incidents have been reported since the start of heavy downpours, members of the public are urged to contact their municipal disaster management centres in case of flooding or any other incidents,” the MEC said. – SAnews.gov.za