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Desperate search for Mamelodi boys

The three boys were swept away by floods while playing in a stormwater tunnel on Monday.

Emergency services and community members search for the missing Mamelodi children on 12 March. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police, emergency services and anxious community members are searching for three boys who went missing in Mamelodi East just outside Pretoria.

The boys, aged between nine and 10, were swept away by floods while playing in a stormwater tunnel on Monday.

It's understood at least four boys were playing after school earlier this week when it started raining heavily.

The police's Johannes Mahesu says they believe the group may have been trapped in a particular section of a stormwater drain.

The area, which has been cordoned off, is now surrounded by concerned residents who have arrived to assist in the search.

Police are currently taking statements from one of the survivors in the hope of a lead as to where his friends might be trapped.

WEATHER TURNAROUND

The South African Weather Service says less rain is expected over the weekend in Gauteng, the North West, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga.

Forecaster Jan Vermeulen says, "Chances are decreasing further towards Friday but there is still a 30 percent chance of showers."

However, a severe weather watch remains in place for these provinces after two weeks of relentless downpours.

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

A task team, including the South African National Defence Force, is on standby and ready to aid flood victims.

Gauteng has experienced four times more rain over the past 11 days than expected for the entire month.

The weather service says it has been 14 years since Gauteng last experienced this amount of rainfall during the month of March.

Pictures: iWitness and Aki Anastasiou