Gauteng floods: the aftermath

Torrential rains that lashed Gauteng in March have been described as the worst in 14 years.

Major roads around Johannesburg have been closed following heavy rain. Picture: Angelo Tyler/iWitness.

JOHANNESBURG - The weather service says h eavy rainfall that lashed Gauteng and surrounding regions over the past two weeks has been "highly unusual", saying more rain has fallen over last two weeks than the annual average for the entire month of March.

This enormous sinkhole measuring around 20 metres wide and four metres deep opened up in Coleraine Drive in Bryanston north of Johannesburg on 11 March.

Acting Director General of Water Affairs Trevor Balzer told the Early Breakfast Show there are flood waters coming through the Vaal Dam.

"We're currently at 105.5 percent and there are seven gates open that are discharging 942 metres of water into the Vaal. So if we open the eighth gate, which is a possibility for later today, we could have the river breaking its banks."

A 12-year-old boy from Ermelo drowned on Monday.

Meanwhile the family of one of the boys missing in Mamelodi East outside Pretoria say they are praying that rescue teams will find their son.

Three boys aged between 9 and 10-years-old were swept away by floods in the township while playing in a storm water tunnel on Monday.

Twitter feeds are inundated with pictures of widespread devastation.

" @yoMzansi #GautengFloods N1 Highway - Johannesburg

#GautengFloods CNR John Vorster Dr & Rabie Str - Pretoria

#GautengFloods Centurion Country Club

The bodies of five other people were recovered at the weekend in Amersfoort, Hendrina, Lydenburg and Nelspruit.

The police's Captain Leonard Hlathi says "Since 4 March we have recorded 11 drowning incidents in the province and our police diving unit has also rescued 12 people. We are concerned about some of the drowning incidents because there are little children who have also drowned."

Flood waters have killed one person and destroyed at least 150 homes in Brits in the North West.

Most of the damage has been caused by flood waters from the overflowing Hartbeespoort Dam.


A Klein-Kariba holiday reserve was also wrecked when the Klein-Kariba Dam walls burst in Bela Bela.

We feel terrible for Klein Kariba and our condolences and hearts go out to the hospitality community involved

The Water Affairs Department says a severe flood warning still remains in place in parts of the country.