Mashaba: 2 killed in Joburg storm

Mayor Herman Mashaba on Sunday spent the morning visiting the affected areas following the storm.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba pictured with residents on 31 December 2017 after a storm affected the city and surrounding areas. Picture: @HermanMashaba/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba says two people have been killed following the hailstorm on Saturday.

The mayor visited affected areas on Sunday morning.

“So far, I’ve heard of cases of two individuals that have died in a car after a tree fell on them. I have witnessed some minor casualties.”

In a Twitter post, the mayor says he wants the storm declared an emergency in order to assist affected communities.

Johannesburg Emergency Services officials were kept busy on Saturday, responding to several incidents in the south and west of the city, including a ceiling panel that collapsed at Trade Route Mall in Lenasia.

However, the mall is operating normally after the severe hailstorm.

The mall’s Vanessa Fourie says the top floor of the shopping centre was affected.

“We confirm that no casualties were suffered within Trade Route Mall. Our centre has been affected by severe water damage, but we're busy with clean-up operations. We’ll open as per normal for trade.”

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Meanwhile, Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo has also confirmed that two people have been killed due to the hailstorm after a tree fell onto their vehicle.

Mamabolo has given a wide update on the impact of the storm that affected several municipalities in the province.

The MEC says the disaster management team has been assessing the damage.

“Together with the municipalities across the province, our disaster management team has done extensive work on the ground to make an assessment to receive reports and conduct an evaluation of what has been the impact of the severe storms that affected our province.”

Mamabolo says a number of houses and informal settlements have been destroyed particularly in the City of Johannesburg and the West Rand.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)