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Communities affected by Gauteng storm to be relocated

The Gauteng Disaster Management Centre says there isn’t enough land in the province to relocate those living in low-lying areas, making families vulnerable to heavy rains.

Residents in Zandspruit clean up a day after a severe storm in the area on 9 October 2017. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng Disaster Management Centre says the West Rand and parts of Ekurhuleni have been the worst affected by Monday’s storm.

The centre says that malls, schools and houses were damaged by the heavy rain, hail and strong winds.

One person was killed in the area following strong winds, while a number of shacks in Zandspruit and the Ruimsig squatter camps were also destroyed.

The centre’s chief director Elias Sithole says there isn’t enough land in the province to relocate those living in low-lying areas, making families vulnerable to heavy rains.

“We have embarked on a project where we were relocating the communities in low-lying areas. We’ll make sure that whatever pieces of land that’s available will actually make sure that those communities are being relocated.

“We have realised some of the informal settlements are in areas where they can be easily flooded.”

WATCH: Severe thunderstorm rips through Gauteng

Thunderstorms in Gauteng on Monday afternoon left some low-lying areas waterlogged.

There were heavy delays on major routes as well as reports of damage to buildings.

The Weather Service issued an alert for the storms, warning that they'd be accompanied by hail and strong winds.

Motorists were urged to drive with extreme caution with traffic backlogs.

GALLERY: Massive hail storm hits Gauteng

At the same time, Johannesburg emergency services responded to calls of flooding on Beyers Naude, areas in Fourways and on New Canada Road as well as low-lying bridges.

Spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said that his team remained on high alert overnight.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)