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JHB storm aftermath keeps insurance companies busy

Insurance companies urge Gauteng residence to stay calm after severe storms left their property damaged.

Large hail stones cover the ground in Mamelodi following severe thunderstorms in Gauteng on 28 November 2013. Picture: Victor Mbinga/iWitness.

JOHANNESBURG - Insurance companies in Gauteng say they've received hundreds of claims from residents whose property was damaged during huge storms in the province on Thursday.

The companies say the claims involve cars, windows, roofs and electrical appliances.

Hail the size of golf balls hit a number of areas, causing traffic jams and affecting flights.

The South African Weather Service has placed Gauteng on high alert for the weekend, warning residents to brace themselves for another round of severe storms.

Robyn Farrell from First For Women Insurance says, "We've received lots of claims. Customers must keep calm, we hear when they call and we will help them. Hundreds of calls are coming in at this stage."

NO CHRISTMAS FOR KAGISO

Meanwhile, residents of the Kagiso township on the West Rand say they won't be buying Christmas presents this year because the money will now be used to repair their roofs, which were damaged during the heavy storms.

Community members have described having to sleep in bathrooms, on chairs and under tables after hail the size of golf balls caused severe damage to their homes and vehicles.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane was in the township on Friday, promising residents that government will assist.

She says government will visit affected areas, help people repair roofs and also give food.

"We're already coordinating means to close the cracked and damaged roofs across the province."

One resident says she had to sleep in her wet bed because there was nothing else she could do.

"I just slept on the side of the bed because the bed was wet."

Community members say they are hoping mother nature will have mercy on them this weekend.