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'Roads haven't been this bad in 12 years'

The agency says it has seen a spike in claims by motorists whose cars have been damaged.

Major roads around Gauteng have been damaged by severe rains since beginning of March. Picture: iWitness.

JOHANNESBURG -The Johannesburg Roads Agency(JRA) on Friday said the last time the city's roads were in such a state of disrepair due to relentless rain was 12 years ago.

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

The JRA says it has seen a spike in claims by motorists whose cars have been damaged due to the poor state of the roads.

The agency's Bertha Peters-Scheepers says teams are expected to start with permanent repair work next week.

"Each team will respond to the most critical areas first and will be looking at the main arterial routes which they will then start repairing."

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

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

Amount of rain per millimetre for the month of March.

THOUSANDS RESCUED IN LIMPOPO

Over 1,000 people have been rescued in Limpopo this week after extensive flooding.

Limpopo has been one of the most severely affected areas following the heavy rain.

Yesterday, a dam at the Thaba Monaté Game Lodge overflowed, sending water onto the streets of Bela Bela.

An aerial view of the flooding in Bela-Bela. Picture: Twitter via@Francois_BPH.

The streets of Bela-Bela flooded . Picture: Twitter via@Amshimmymadala.

Local government says about 700 families have been assisted in the province.

Spokesperson Phuti Seloba says, "We have rescued around 1,300 people in the area of Bela Bela, Lephalale and some parts of Venda district."

In the North West, emergency services have recovered the bodies of three people who were swept away by floods.

The bodies of two male adults were found in Marikana while the body of a young boy was recovered in Mogwase.

This brings the province's drowning death toll to four since the heavy rains began.

Provincial government spokesperson Lesiba Kgwele says North West Premier Thandi Modise wishes to convey her condolences to the families of the deceased.

"The premier urges motorists and pedestrians crossing flooded rivers to exercise extreme caution and not underestimate currents."

A task team, including the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), is on standby and ready to help flood victims in the affected areas.