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SA on flood crisis alert

Officials from the National Disaster Management Centre are on standby to declare a state of disaster.

Officials from the National Disaster Management Centre are on standby to declare a state of disaster. Picture: The Citizen.

JOHANNESBURG - As large parts of the country battle a possible flood crisis due to the relentless rain, a task team, including the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), is on standby and ready to aid flood victims.

Motorists struggling to get to work this morning have to contend with thick mist in parts of Johannesburg and traffic snarl ups that have been made worse in the last two weeks by persistent rains and dozens of potholes.

It appears Ekurhuleni is the most affected by the mist this morning, and Weather SA forecaster Edwin Thema says the downpours are not about to let up.

"We're still expecting widespread showers and thundershowers over the northern and eastern parts of the country. We're on the watch for floods expected in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the eastern parts of the North West."

Picture: iWitness.

The weather service says Gauteng has experienced four times more rain in the past 11 days than expected for the entire month.

The bad weather has wreaked havoc on the country's roads with potholes developing, traffic lights not working and several deaths reported.

The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) says although they have not declared a state of disaster yet, officials are on standby across the country.

The centre's Tsakane Baloyi said, "Once the head of NDMC classifies this as a state of disaster, our teams will take it from there."

The SANDF's Xolani Mabanga said, "We have our personnel ready to assist."

DROWNINGS

Mpumalanga police say they haven't been able to recover the bodies of two people who drowned during heavy flooding.

At least 11 people have drowned in that province and 12 have been rescued in the past week.

The police's Leonard Hlathi says diving teams are waiting for the downpours to subside.

"We're still looking for two bodies we couldn't recover because of the dangers of the floods. We're waiting for the water to subside so the diving unit can continue with the search."

In Mamelodi East in Pretoria, three boys who were last seen playing near a river on Monday are still missing.

It's believed they may have been swept away.

The weather service says the rain will continue until Thursday.

SINKHOLE

An enormous sinkhole, measuring about 20 metres wide and four metres deep, has developed on Coleraine Drive in Bryanston.

Picture: EWN.

Emergency services appealed to the public not to get close to the sinkhole as it continues to disintegrate, making it very dangerous.

An EWN video of a sinkhole caused by the rain in Bryanston.